A CHEF has denied murdering a former Conservative councillor in a charity's communal garden.

Jonathan Stasiuk, 60, appeared before Southampton Crown Court today, charged with killing Gerry White, 73.

Mr White's body was discovered in woodland near Lake on May 27.

Mr Stasiuk, from Sandown, denied one count of murder and was remanded in custody ahead of a murder trial set to begin on November 4.

Addressing Mr Stasiuk, Judge Christopher Parker QC said: "Preparations are being made for your upcoming trial. You will remain in custody until then."

Mr White, also from Sandown, was a pub landlord and had served on the Isle of Wight Council and Lake Parish Council.

He was chairman of Lake Parish Council in 2016 and 2017 and sat on Isle of Wight Council between 2009 and 2013.

Lake Parish Council paid tribute to him after his death, saying he "contributed much to the village, both as a councillor, and an entrepreneur, and was also a stalwart in the local Rotary".

Mr White and Mr Stasiuk were trustees at the charity Lake Community Gardens, a 16-acre site where Mr White was killed.

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