David Hunter: Cyprus 'mercy killing' murder trial postponed following request to reduce charge

ITV Tyne Tees understands David Hunter wants to admit to the manslaughter of his wife Janice. Credit: Family

The trial of a former miner accused of murdering his terminally ill wife in Cyprus has been postponed following a request by lawyers to reduce the charge to manslaughter.

David Hunter, 75, is accused of murdering his wife Janice, also 75, who was found dead at their home in Paphos in December.

Lawyers acting for Mr Hunter say he was acting out of love for his wife and wanted to end her suffering from blood cancer.

A trial started on Monday at Paphos District Court.

It has now been postponed until 12 October so an alternative charge can be discussed.

ITV Tyne Tees understands Mr Hunter wants to plead guilty to manslaughter.

Mr Hunter is on trial for the pre-meditated murder of his wife.

The couple, who were married for 52 years, moved to Cyprus from Ashington, in Northumberland, in 2002.

Last December, police were called to their home and found Mrs Hunter dead and Mr Hunter had tried to take his own life.

Lawyers for Mr Hunter had previously asked the Cypriot top attorney general to reduce his murder charge to one of assisting suicide, saying he acted out of love for his wife and wanted to end her suffering from incurable blood cancer.

David Hunter was charged with the murder of his wife Janice after her death in December 2021. Credit: Family

That was rejected but it is now understood a manslaughter charge is being considered.

If prosecutors do accept a guilty plea to manslaughter Mr Hunter faces a jail sentence of seven years. That decision will be down to three judges.

His family are hoping leniency will be shown. His daughter Lesley has previously said she wants to bring him home and does not want him to die behind bars.

The court will sit again on 12 October.

Mr Hunter will remain in jail in Cyprus until then.

Mr Hunter, who has been in prison since December, has been supported by his daughter Lesley and former miners from Northumberland, including Barry Kent, who attended court on the opening day of the trial.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...