John Lennon's killer Mark Chapman has been ordered to spend at least two more years in prison, following a moving testimony by the late beatle's widow Yoko Ono.

Chapman, who shot Lennon outside his New York apartment in 1980, fought his third bid for parole yesterday (05OCT04), but the parole board's Deciding Commissioner WILLIAM SMITH JR argued the 49-year-old was not ready to be released, because he shows no remorse for the murder, which took place in front of Ono.

Ono told the parole board, "It would bring back the nightmare, the chaos and the confusion once again. I would fear for my safety and that of John Lennon's sons JULIAN and SEAN if Chapman was freed."

Smith concluded, "Denied - hold for 24 months. Next appearance October 2006. Following a personal interview, a review of your records and deliberation, your release to parole supervision at this time is denied.

"This is based on the extreme malicious intent you exhibited during the instant offence when you fired a handgun multiple times, striking your target John Lennon.

"Your course of conduct over a lengthy period shows a clear lack of respect for life and subjected the wife of the victim to monumental suffering by her witnessing the crime."

06/10/2004 13:22