Late BEATLE John Lennon was an obsessive shoplifter during his student days in the 1950s, according to a former pal.

The kleptomaniac IMAGINE singer would steal items from one particular bookstore in Liverpool, England, whilst attending the city's School of Art - because he was curious to see "what he could get away with".

Actor RICHARD TATE says, "It was almost as if he wanted to get struck down by a thunderbolt.

"He could have gone into (British store) WOOLWORTHS, but he had to go into this particular shop. He was always a maverick."

Lennon was shot dead in 1980 at the age of 40 in New York.

30/01/2005 10:29