9 Dec 2010

30th anniversary of John Lennon's death

7:12 am on 9 December 2010

Fans of John Lennon will gather in New York on Wednesday to mark the 30th anniversary of his death.

The former Beatle was shot dead outside his New York apartment on 8 December 1980 as he returned home after a night out with wife Yoko Ono. He was pronounced dead by Dr Stephan Lynn at Roosevelt Hospital at 11.15pm local time.

A deranged fan, Mark David Chapman, was convicted of the 40-year-old singer's murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Strawberry Fields, a section of Central Park dedicated to Lennon's memory, will be the site of an informal tribute on Wednesday, the BBC reports.

Chapman staked out Lennon's apartment and earlier on the day of the killing the musician had autographed a copy of his latest album Double Fantasy for him.

Chapman eventually pleaded guilty to murder and remains in a jail near New York, AFP reports. His request for parole has been turned down six times.

Yoko Ono has also opposed Chapman's release, fearing for her safety and that of their son Sean Lennon, now 35.

Earlier this year, she took part in celebrations in Iceland to mark what would have been Lennon's 70th birthday, although she said he had never liked to mark the progress of time.