Family and friends of an Ottawa woman whose husband scalded her with boiling water and left her to die say her death has left them scarred and haunted by what they could have done to prevent it.
Mark Hutt was convicted earlier this month of first-degree murder in the 2009 death of his wife Donna Jones.
A jury convicted Hutt after hearing graphic evidence during the trial that Jones had extensive burns and injuries, including nine fractured ribs and 29 air gun pellets embedded in her body.
Jones's sister Jennifer said Tuesday at Hutt's sentencing hearing the manner of Donna Jones's death will always be with her.
"I picture her afraid with Mark pointing the gun at her or Donna trying to avoid the painful shower of boiling water," said Jennifer Jones. "These thoughts will always be with me. The only comfort I [now] take is that she is in heaven and no longer suffering."
Jones's mother Irena also gave a victim impact statement, saying her daughter Donna was a comfort in her life, and someone whose presence and laughter she misses.
"As Donna's birthday is on Christmas Day, Christmas will never be the same again," said Irena Jones.
'I allowed a monster into our shared circle'
During the trial, family and friends descirbed Hutt as controlling and abusive and told the court they tried to get Jones out of the relationship.
Donna Jones's friend Melanie Houle, said while she believes Hutt remains responsible for Jones's death, she carries guilt for her role in bringing the two together.
"Had I not introduced the two of them, it is likely that Donna would still be alive," said Houle.
"She would be laughing with friends, celebrating milestones, planning her next adventure. I would have watched her walk down the aisle on her wedding day to meet a nervous and excited man, ready to build a life with her.
"Instead I allowed a monster into our shared circle of friends, and walked her down the aisle in a coffin," she said.
"The Donna I knew, love and miss every day died the day I introduced them," she said.
Hutt apologizes, asks for forgiveness
After Houle spoke, Mark Hutt stood up, apologized to the victims and asked for forgiveness.
"I am disgusted and appalled at my actions," said Hutt. "Since incarceration, I'm not the monster I once was," he told the court.
Adrian DiTietro, Donna Jones's former boss, said she was unmoved by Hutt's words.
"His last words were for us to forgive him. Never... We may come to terms with this, but there will never be forgiveness from me," she said.
The first-degree murder conviction means Hutt is automatically sentenced to life with no chance of parole for at least 25 years.
Some members of Jones's family are also planning to speak at a vigil to end violence against women this evening at Minto Park, starting at 7:30 p.m.