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On Christmas day three years ago Marianne Willment felt like her life was close to complete.
The mum-of-two spent the festivities with her boyfriend who was planning to soon marry her – until he was caged for committing murder.
“For me it was my last happy Christmas,” Marianne remembered.
“We were both working in catering but we had time to take the dogs for a walk on the beach and by the end of the day we’d cooked enough turkey to put us off eating so it was a cuppa and bed.
“But it was special because I was with the person I wanted to be with.”
Unfortunately, that very same person, Jonathan Stasiuk, went on to throttle a man to death after trying to saw his legs off with a chainsaw.
He murdered his victim, Gerry White, in May 2019 and shouted ‘Die b*****d die” during the brutal attack at the Lake Community Gardens on the Isle of Wight where the pair were trustees.
He is now in jail while Marianne, 62, spends the festive season alone with her dog.
She has since been abused in the street because of her fiancé's actions and she now no longer celebrates Christmas.
She told the Daily Star: “Christmas will be just another day this year and I will be relieved when all the fuss is over. It is a time where I wish I were a hedgehog so I could hibernate.
“I am not looking forward to it and it will be 24 hours of nothingness and that’s it.
“I will stay active, because I have to, possibly watch TV, listen to the radio, call a couple of friends but all I want for Christmas and the next one and the one after is that phone call which lasts about ten minutes.”
The phone call Marianne is referring to is to Stasiuk who is behind bars for the appalling crime.
She has not seen him in person for a long time – but would still be prepared to marry him.
And despite sticking by the killer, Marianne also feels resentment towards him.
She explained: “My feelings for Jon haven’t changed and they won’t but I do feel angry with him sometimes, quite a lot actually and I have told him.
“We have always been honest with each other. He is in a safe place, getting fed every day even though prison food is not great.
“But for me Christmas is mostly about staying warm and paying bills.”
She added: “My first priority is my dog Sam. He has been with me since he was 10 weeks old and he’s now 18. He has never gone without food or love.
“But on the whole it will be a cold and wintry time, not a time for celebrating.”
Stasiuk was jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years in November 2019 after admitting to murdering the ex-counsellor.
He slashed him with the power tool before strangling him to death.
The court heard how after killing his victim he dialled 999 and said: “He’s called Gerry White and I’ve just done him in.”
Judge Christopher Parker QC also told told Stasiuk: “You took [the chainsaw] intending at that time to chop his legs off and to murder him.
"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."
After being sentenced, he wrote to Marianne to say he “doesn’t know why” he did what he did and he was sorry for his actions.
He is now based in HMP Swaleside, Kent, some 132 miles from Marianne.
They have not seen each other in two years because of the distance – but they speak on the phone most days.
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