Convicted wife killer Mark Hutt told an Ottawa courtroom full of people that he's not the monster he once was, as he was led away to spend the next 25 year in jail. Friends and family members of Donna Jones got their chance to speak, too, of the horrifying impact the murder has had on them.  Empowered by the support they drew from each other, Donna Jones' family and friends came to court to read their victim impact statements.

There were 16 of them, painting a picture of a bubbly, intelligent 33-year-old woman who was stripped of her soul and ultimately her life by her husband Mark Hutt.

"She was a loving, caring supportive, genuine wholesome person,” said her brother Derek Jones outside the Elgin Street Courthouse that just wanted to live an average life.”

Jones died of massive infection in the basement of her west end home in December of 2009, 12 days after Hutt had doused her with boiling water.  There were other injuries too: she had multiple broken bones, bruises and 29 air gun pellets in her body. Her friends are now haunted by horrible images of the things Hutt did to his 33 year old wife. 

"His reign of terror didn't just affect Donna,” said Jones’ former manager at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency where Donna had worked, “It affected all of us  and people need to know there are people out there like this in the world.  It's best said that there are monsters in our own backyards.”

There is guilt, too. One friend is haunted for introducing a lonely Donna Jones to Hutt in 2007.  In her victim impact statement, Melanie Houle said:

"Had I not introduced them, it’s likely that Donna would still be alive.  Iintroduced a monster into our shared circle of friends and ended up walking her down the aisle in a coffin.  The Donna I knew, love, miss every day died the day I introduced them."

Her older sister Jennifer Jones says she pictures Donna “with Mark pointing the gun at her or Donna trying to avoid the painful shower of boiling water.” The only comfort she takes is knowing that her sister is in heaven and no longer suffering."

Before he was sentenced, Mark Hutt apologized to Donna's family and friends and said he's no longer the monster he once was.

“I know many of you won’t forgive me,” he said, “but forgiveness sets the soul free.”  That prompted snorts of disgust. 

“I don't forgive him,” says Derek Jones, “I don't think about him. It takes away from my personal growth.  I deal with the loss of my sister and I support my family.  I have no time for someone like that in my life.”

Justice Robert Maranger told the crowded courtroom he had never seen friends and family act in a more caring way and that only one person was responsible for Donna Jones' death. Mark Hutt is now in jail for life.