Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight chainsaw murder: Jonathan Stasiuk pleads guilty

Gerry White Image copyright isle of Wight Council
Image caption Gerry White represented Lake North on Isle of Wight Council between 2009 and 2013

A chef who attacked a former councillor with a chainsaw and then strangled him over a "festering dispute" has admitted his murder.

Jonathan Stasiuk, 60, killed 73-year-old Gerry White at the Lake Community Gardens on the Isle of Wight on 27 May.

The pair were trustees of the gardens and had been rowing about the running of a farm project at the site.

Stasiuk, of Sandown, changed his plea to guilty during his murder trial at Southampton Crown Court.

He is due to sentenced at the same court on Thursday.

The defendant, who previously worked in pubs run by Mr White, had admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Stasiuk developed an "entrenched hatred" of Mr White, who served as a Conservative councillor on the island for four years, over "a number of grievances", the court was told.

Prosecutor Matthew Jewell QC said this included a belief that Mr White acted dishonestly over a £3,000 donation to the farm project from the Rotary Club.

He said Stasiuk also thought Mr White was using the site as a "dumping ground" for items from his business and owed his partner £25.

Image caption A police cordon was put in place while forensic investigations were carried out on Monday

On the day of the attack, Stasiuk spotted his former boss walking in the gardens and set upon him with a chainsaw.

When it ran out of fuel he "strangled and smothered" Mr White before having a drink "to calm himself down" and calling the police.

In a recording of a 999 call played in court, Stasiuk was heard saying: "He's called Gerry White and I've just done him."

The operator asked if the victim needed an ambulance, to which Stasiuk replied: "I'm going to make sure he doesn't."

During police interviews Stasiuk told officers he had used a chainsaw to give him "the edge" in the argument and was "glad" Mr White was dead. 

Giving evidence, Stasiuk said he felt like he was "in a movie" during the attack and "didn't have any control" over his actions.

Following the change of plea, Det Insp Toby Elcock, of Hampshire Constabulary, said: "This was a brutal attack on a much-loved and respected member of the community.

"Jon Stasiuk shockingly acknowledged that he was the man responsible for killing Gerry White, and yet showed absolutely no remorse for his death throughout the entire process until his trial."

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