Murderer Jonathan Stasiuk has been sentenced to life imprisonment for strangling Gerry White to death on the Isle of Wight back in May of this year.
As first reported by Island Echo, Police were called to a 16-acre community garden on the outskirts of Lake on 27th May. It is here that officers found the body of 73-year-old Gerald White in amongst woodland off the Byway SS18. Mr White was a former county councillor, a parish councillor and landlord of The Stag at Lake – a well-respected member of the community.
Police were alerted to the tragic incident when Stasiuk, of Pier Street, Sandown, called 999 and reported what had happened. He was subsequently arrested and later charged with murder.
At the start of his trial at Southampton Crown Court last week, it was revealed that Stasiuk used a chainsaw to attack Mr White causing injuries to his legs – but it ran out of petrol. The 60-year-old then strangled Gerry to death whilst shouting ‘die bastard, die’. A post-mortem examination recorded the cause of death as compression of the neck.
Jonathan Stasiuk started the trial by pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but as the trial neared its end on Tuesday, Stasiuk finally admitted murder.
The trial heard that Stasiuk attacked Gerry White following a dispute over trivial differences about the community gardens. Mr White had been accused of using the area as a dumping ground for rubbish. There was also a disagreement about payment of £3,000 for a roof repair which only cost £1,300.
The former chef has today been given a sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 25 years. He will be 85-years-old before he is eligible for parole and may well die behind bars.
Judge Christopher Parker QC said that the use of a ‘vicious’ weapon was an aggravating factor in the case. Stasiuk intended to chop Mr White’s legs off.
WATCH: Hampshire Constabulary has released body worn video of the moment Stasiuk was arrested for the murder of Gerry White
Mr White’s wife, Lee, has released the following statement on behalf of the family:
“Gerry’s family is relieved that the accused has admitted being ‘guilty of murder’.
“Heartfelt thanks are due to the police, prosecution, court staff and all those involved in the case for the hard work they put into the investigation and trial, contributing to this satisfactory outcome.
“The family has been provided with professional and caring help and guidance by police liaison officers and Victim Support.
“The tragic loss of Gerry has left a huge hole in the lives of family and friends. We cannot hope to ever get over it.
“While nothing will bring my husband back, we have justice for him, and for this we are very grateful.”