A CHEF killed a former Conservative councillor by attacking him with a chainsaw and strangling him following a dispute over the running of a charity farm, a court has heard.

Jonathan Stasuik, 60, is accused of the murder of 73-year-old Gerry White, who was killed at Lake Community Gardens, Isle of Wight, on May 27.

Stasuik, of Sandown, Isle of Wight, denies murder.

During the opening of Southampton Crown Court's first murder trial, Matthew Jewell QC, prosecuting, told jury members the defendant and Mr White were both trustees of a farm charity set up at the site for the growing of vegetables.

He said that pair had fallen out over a number of issues including claims by Stasuik that Mr White, a publican, had used the site as a "dumping ground" for items from his business.

Mr Jewell said that the disagreement also involved a cheque paid to Mr White by the Rotary Club for £3,000 for a roof repair which actually cost £1,300 and a request for the money to be repaid.

He added: "This defendant harboured a growing sense of grievance towards Mr White and formed a strong belief in his own position."

Mr Jewell said that Stasuik, who had worked for Mr White at several of his pubs, had called 999 on the afternoon of May 27 and told the operator he had murdered someone and police attended to arrest him.

He said: "As he was being led to the police van, he said 'I hope [he] is dead'."

He said that Stasuik was interviewed by police and added: "He admitted attacking Mr White, first of all with a chainsaw and then by strangling him until he believed Mr White was dead.

"He explained it was a result of a growing and festering dispute with Mr White which had led to his actions on that day."

Mr Jewell said that Stasuik thought that Mr White had wanted a "confrontation" so he had armed himself with the chainsaw.

He added that Stasuik then "squeezed" at Mr White's throat.

Mr Jewell said that the defendant, who has since been diagnosed as being autistic, claims that he is not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

He added that Mr White died of compression to the neck and also suffered cuts to his legs.

The trial continues.