A 59-year-old woman has vowed to stay with her fiancé, despite the fact he murdered a pensioner with a chainsaw.
Jonathan Stasiuk, 60, was sent to prison for at least 25 years after an argument with 73-year-old Gerry White led to him slashing the pensioner with a chainsaw before strangling him to death, ignoring White’s pleas to spare his life.
Now, Stasiuk’s partner Marianne Willment, 59, has said she plans to stay with him, despite having been abused in the street and branded ‘disgusting’ by members of the public.
Speaking to the Mirror, 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.
Marianne also accepts her plan to marry the murderer will not go down well with his victim’s family.
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 Stasiuk 10 years ago, when the pair worked in the same pub, Marianne as a barmaid and Stasiuk as a chef. After their first date, she said she ‘trusted him completely’ and ‘it was like I had known him for 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 the pair moved in together in Sandown, on the Isle of Wight, before eventually getting engaged.
The couple were due to get married last September, however Stasiuk’s feud with Gerry eventually reached boiling point, as the two men continually had ‘petty fallings-out’.
Marianne said she had no idea her fiancé’s temper would reach such a violent point, saying he was ‘completely normal’ in the time leading up to the crime.
She added: ‘He did have a temper, but he didn’t often flare up. He was never violent to me.’
After slashing the pensioner with a chainsaw, Stasiuk strangled him to death. He then reportedly called 999, saying: ‘He’s called Gerry White and I’ve just done him.’ When the operator asked if he needed an ambulance, he replied: ‘I’m going to make sure he doesn’t.’
Initially, Stasiuk pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. However, he later admitted murder at Southampton Crown Court, saying he had ‘misjudged’ the situation, adding: ‘I deeply regret it.’
Stasiuk was sentenced last week to life in prison, with a minimum sentence of 25 years.
Writing to Marianne from prison, he said:
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*cked 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, Stasiuk apologised to Marianne and to Gerry’s family.
Marianne said, since the incident, she has been abused in the street, shouted at and even punched by people who recognise her from the trial. However, she said she will never leave the relationship.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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