The fiancée of a chainsaw-wielding murderer has vowed to stand by him – and MARRY him.
Marianne Willment, 59, has made the extraordinary decision despite her boyfriend’s stomach-churning crime.
She is regularly abused in the street and has even been punched because of the actions of Jonathan Stasiuk, who ignored his victim’s pleas to spare his life.
Stasiuk, 60, must serve at least 25 years after petty arguments and a simmering feud boiled over, leading to the murder of Gerry White, 73.
Breaking her silence for the first time, Marianne said: “I’m worried about being labelled as the partner of a killer for the rest of my life.
“But if anyone has a problem with me I’d tell them, ‘I didn’t kill him’. He should not have killed him but I do forgive him. I would really like to marry him.
“I don’t know how possible it would be or how it would work but I will look into it once things settle.
“I have already mentioned it to Jonathan briefly. It would mean a lot.”
She accepts her plan will not go down well with Gerry’s family.
She said: “Of course, I feel for them. I met Gerry’s wife a few times and she is lovely. Gerry left behind a family and it is such a great loss – this is worse for them. They must be feeling terrible.”
Marianne met her lover ten years ago while working as a barmaid in a pub where Stasiuk was a chef.
Their first date was a walk along a seafront and she said: “I trusted him completely, it was like I had known for him a long time.
“I never had any doubts about his character. He was funny, charming, a good cook and looked after me.”
After three months they moved in together in Sandown, on the Isle of Wight, and enjoyed long walks by the sea with their two dogs.
Eventually the couple’s relationship blossomed to the extent that they got engaged. Recalling the proposal, a tearful Marianne said: “We were at home, just me and him.
“He put on our favourite song, Someone Like You by Van Morrison, then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”
The pair had been due to marry last September 21, the tenth anniversary of their first date.
But tragedy and horror erupted out of Stasiuk gardening on land which became the Lake Community Gardens, a 16-acre site to allow vulnerable people to grow vegetables as therapy.
He became a trustee of the charity that ran it, as did Gerry. The pair already knew each other as Stasiuk had worked in a bar run by Gerry, a publican and ex-Tory councillor who had been honoured with an award by the Rotary Club.
But they had petty fallings-out, including over £25 which Stasiuk claimed Gerry owed to Marianne. Stasiuk also believed Gerry was using the farm as a dump.
She said she had no idea her boyfriend’s temper was about to boil over so violently and he was “completely normal” in the weeks leading up to the bloodshed.
She added: “He did have a temper, but he didn’t often flare up. He was never violent to me.”
After months of building resentment, Stasiuk finally snapped on May 27.
The couple were camping at the Lake Community Gardens for the bank holiday weekend to work on the land. Gerry arrived on the Monday morning as a friend picked Marianne up in her car to take her home.
Stasiuk was due to cycle back after her but never did. Instead, he had a row with the publican and grabbed a chainsaw.
Revving up the saw, evil Stasiuk tried to cut off his former friend’s legs as he lay face down and begged for his life.
The killer screamed, “Die bastard die!” When the chainsaw ran out of fuel, crazed Stasiuk throttled then smothered his victim to death.
He left the body in bushes and was heard in a 999 call recording saying: “He’s called Gerry White and I’ve just done him.”
The operator asked if the victim needed an ambulance, to which he replied: “I’m going to make sure he doesn’t.”
Stasiuk initially pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility before admitting murder as the trial at Southampton Crown Court ended last week. After changing his plea, he told the court he had “misjudged” the situation, adding: “I deeply regret it.
“What I did was cold-blooded, it seemed so callous and inhumane.”
Judge Christopher Parker QC jailed him for life with a minimum of 25 years.
He told Stasiuk his use of an “especially vicious weapon” had been an aggravating factor, adding that he had taken the saw “intending at that time to chop his legs off and to murder him”.
The judge went on: “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.”
Marianne has received letters from Stasiuk and insists she will remain faithful to him. In a letter, which was sent just nine days after the evil act while the killer was on remand, he wrote: “We had a great weekend camping until that b****** turned up didn’t we?”
He wrote to Marianne from jail, saying: “It is the most serious offence and I will be punished accordingly regardless of what you, I, or anyone else feels. In a way that makes my imprisonment easier.
"I’m not a victim of justice, I haven’t been ‘f***** around’ by the system and I do not feel unfairly treated. I hope you are not neglecting your health either. Take it a day at a time. It’s easier for me.”
In another letter he apologised to Marianne and also to Gerry’s family.
He said: “Not sure if he had any other friends and I don’t know his family that well. But I’m sure they are enraged and hurt by what happened. But you must realise that to survive at this place I cannot delve too deeply into these feelings. I must warn you after going through the initial evidence it doesn’t look good.”
Marianne, who has two daughters living abroad from a previous marriage, said she will never abandon their relationship despite being abused in the street.
She described how her world has collapsed too and she is now scared to leave her own home.
She said: “I take my two dogs out really early when nobody is about. I know I can’t hide and I have to go out and try to be normal but I have no idea how people will react.”
Two weeks ago Marianne was called an “ugly, fat disgusting b****” while strolling near her home in Sandown.
She said: “Two women in their 40s recognised me. They started shouting at me and I just turned around with my dog and went back home.”
Marianne also said a woman punched her in the face in the street in another worrying incident. She has been advised not to reach out to Mr White’s widow Lee, but says she feels for the family.
Marianne said: “Jonathan has told me so many times he doesn’t know why he did it.
"He said he wasn’t himself. He said he is really sorry for the effect this has had on me and Gerry’s wife.”
She added: “He would never hurt me. I trust him. I will never understand why he did it but I’m sure he would never do it again.”
The court heard a statement from Lee, which said her husband had not deserved to die. She said: “Knowing what he went through is hard to bear. Life has changed and can never be normal again.”
His son Des said it was a “bitter irony” 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.”
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