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Wednesday, 15 November, 2000, 14:55 GMT
Jury out in Beatle stab trial
Olivia and George Harrison
Olivia and George Harrison: Thought they were dying
The jury in the case of the man accused of trying to kill ex-Beatle George Harrison has retired to consider its verdict.

Earlier, Oxford Crown Court heard that Michael Abram, 34, of Huyton, Merseyside, thought Harrison had possessed him and that all the Beatles were witches.

Mr Abram, of Huyton, Merseyside, denies trying to kill Mr Harrison, 57, and his wife Olivia, 52, on 30 December last year.

Mr Abram was a paranoid schizophrenic, psychiatrist Dr Phillip Joseph told the court.

He said Mr Abram, a father-of-two, started to go off the rails after his relationship with his girlfriend, Jeanette, broke down.


George Harrison spoke something backwards to him - he (Mr Abram) thought he was cursing him in the devil's tongue

Dr Phillip Joseph
The court heard how Mr Abram's condition deteriorated after the solar eclipse in August last year and he felt he was on a mission from God.

He would sit on an upturned pot plant in his flat listening to music, said Dr Joseph.

"He was trying to make sense of what was going on in his mind," he told the jury.

"He began to realise that the person behind this was George Harrison and realised that he was the phantom menace."

That belief came about after Mr Abram imagined his ex-girlfriend had stolen 80,000 from a drug dealer, encouraged by Mr Harrison.

He developed this conviction after listening to the refrain "it's gonna take money" from a George Harrison song, Got My Mind Set on You.

It was by a process of elimination that he thought Mr Harrison was the Alien from Hell.

Michael Abram with his mother Lynda
Michael Abram with his mother Lynda
"He thought the Beatles were witches flying on broomsticks from hell," said Dr Joseph.

Dr Joseph said Mr Abram's condition worsened and he decided to confront Mr Harrison.

He said Mr Abram told him about the break-in six months afterwards.

Mr Harrison had told the court on Tuesday that he had shouted "Hare Krishna! Hare Krishna!" in a bid to confuse his attacker.


He thought that if George Harrison had talked normally to him at this point he would not have gone through with it

Dr Phillip Joseph
Dr Joseph said on Wednesday: "George Harrison spoke something backwards to him. He (Mr Abram) thought he was cursing him in the devil's tongue.

"He realised it was all true and George Harrison was shouting at him, he was a witch.

Remorse

"He thought that if George Harrison had talked normally to him at this point he would not have gone through with it because he didn't want to."

Dr Joseph added: "George Harrison ran at him. The thought of killing Harrison went through his head.

"He stabbed him in the area of the heart with the intention of killing him.

"As he was stabbing he realised it was George Harrison but he also realised he was a witch who had possessed him. He was killing him to make it all stop."

Olivia Harrison
Olivia Harrison was in court on Wednesday
Abram was said to have expressed considerable remorse to the psychiatrist and wanted to write a letter to the family.

Earlier the court heard how Mr Abram interrupted a church service to ask the priest how to find the star's home, a court heard.

Simon Mayo, prosecuting at Oxford Crown Court, said Mr Abram spoke to the Reverend David Buskill as he walked down the central aisle of the church during the service.

Mr Abram allegedly said: "Can you tell me where the squire lives?"

The court was told the cleric thought at first Mr Abram was talking about God, but then realised he meant Mr Harrison.

The trial continues.

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See also:

14 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Beatles winning album battle
14 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Harrison: I thought I was dying
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