John Lennon's cousin STANLEY PARKES has slammed British TV network Channel 4 over their controversial decision to broadcast tapes of the rocker's killer Mark David Chapman.

Channel 4 will broadcast 15-year-old recordings made by Chapman's biographer JACK JONES, in the documentary I KILLED JOHN LENNON on Thursday (08DEC05) - the 25th anniversary of the beatle's murder.

Weeks after Lennon's widow Yoko Ono criticised the US network NBC for planning to broadcast the same documentary, the singer's oldest surviving relative has condemned Channel 4.

Parkes says, "I think the decision is absolutely abhorrent. It's totally out of order to give the man airtime to explain how and why he shot John.

"It's just glorifying a killer. Our family are devastated by that. It should never have been allowed to happen, especially on the anniversary.

"I don't know how they (Channel 4) get away with it. To everyone else John is a public figure, but to us, he's just our John."

In response, a spokeswoman for Channel 4 says, "I Killed John Lennon is very much a serious documentary and has been handled accordingly.

"The programme looks into Chapman's psychology. It is about the mind of a murderer rather than about John Lennon. Neither Mark Chapman nor his family have received payment."

Chapman is currently serving a 20 year-to-life sentence for the fatal shooting of Lennon outside his New York City apartment on 8 December 1980.