Isle of Wight murder: Jonathan Stasiuk jailed for Gerry White killing
A chainsaw-wielding chef who murdered an ex-councillor over a "trivial" feud has been jailed.
Jonathan Stasiuk slashed 73-year-old Gerry White with the power tool before strangling him at the Lake Community Gardens on the Isle of Wight in May.
The pair were trustees of the gardens and had argued over how they were run.
Stasiuk, 60, admitted murder part-way through his trial at Southampton Crown Court. He was jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years.
He had initially pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
The court heard a statement from Lee White, the victim's widow, which said her husband had not deserved to die.
She added: "Knowing what he went through is hard to bear. Life has changed and can never be normal again."
Judge Christopher Parker QC told Stasiuk, of Sandown, his use of an "especially vicious weapon" was an aggravating factor.
"You took [the chainsaw] intending at that time to chop his legs off and to murder him," the judge said.
"You had obsessed over your perceived, although relatively trivial, grievances that may not have any foundation whatsoever, to such an extent that you allowed them to build up into a form of hatred."
The trial heard that Stasiuk, who had worked in pubs run by his victim, had a "festering dispute" with Mr White.
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.
Giving evidence, Stasiuk told jurors he believed his partner had been bullied by his fellow gardens trustee and accused him of using the site as a "dumping ground" for his business.
He said following Mr White to the gardens with a chainsaw had felt "like a movie" and initially claimed he had no control over his actions.
Mr White had been a councillor until 2013 and was the landlord of two pubs.
His son Des said it was a "bitter irony" that his father had been killed by someone he had employed at both his businesses and at the communal garden charity.
"Jon was one of many people that dad had helped throughout his life," he said.
"He encouraged people to do things for themselves and led by example. It's a sad end for a man that still had so much left to offer life."