Mark Chapman, who shot John Lennon dead in 1980, has been denied parole for the eighth time.

The killer, now 59, gunned down the ex-Beatle outside his New York apartment as he and wife Yoko Ono were returning home from a recording session. He was later handed a sentence of 20 years to life.

The three-man parole board noted that Ono had once again sent a letter asking that Chapman was not released – but that, along with others letters supporting her position, they’d also received notes from those who believed he should be granted freedom.

Further noting that his prison behaviour sheet had been clean for over two decades, the board said: “There is a reasonable probability that you would not remain at liberty without again violating the law. Your release would be incompatible with the welfare of society, and would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law.”

Chapman may apply again in two years’ time.