A man who stabbed a drunken intruder in his Catford home 50 times has been cleared of murder.

Errol Hanson appeared at Southwark Crown Court on December 19 where pleaded not guilty of murdering Mohammed Savare on the grounds of self-defence.

Savare, 26, stumbled into Hanson’s home in around 4.30 am on June 19 this year after he had spent the night drinking and sleeping under a bench at Rushey Green, the jury were told.

There he was confronted by the 51-year-old homeowner, who said he saw Mr Savare attempting to steal his television.

After a violent struggle, Hanson managed to lock the intruder in the back garden of his Brownhill Road home.

The court heard how Hanson went back inside, grabbed a kitchen knife, then went back into his garden and stabbed Mr Savare 50 times, including 30 times in the neck.

The jury was told Hanson left the flat shortly after 5am to go next door to the Payless shop where he told staff “help me, help me, someone is killing me, call the police”, and when police arrived he told them “an intruder came into my house man, I had to stab him”.

The court heard that after the attack, medical experts at Lewisham Hospital examined Hanson and said he had paranoid schizophrenia, as he had been hearing voices for the past 21 years, telling him to harm himself, kill himself.

The trial had started on December 12 and took more than a week, at the end of which Hanson was found not guilty of murder.