David Hunter: Plea deal considered for Northumberland miner who killed terminally ill wife in Cyprus
The trial of a former miner from Northumberland charged with murdering his terminally ill wife at their home in Cyprus has been postponed for the fourth time while a plea deal is considered.
David Hunter, 75, is charged with murdering his wife Janice at their home in Paphos in December 2021. She was diagnosed with blood cancer five years earlier.
Mr Hunter tried to take his own life and spent two weeks in intensive care following the incident.
Video report by Katie Cole.
Mr Hunter’s trial, which had already been delayed twice, got underway at Paphos District Court on Monday 18 September but was adjourned after his defence team asked for time to discuss a charge of manslaughter with Mr Hunter.
At a hearing on Wednesday 12 October the defence and prosecution asked for more time to discuss a manslaughter plea. The three judges who will hear this case asked for all matters to be finalised by 18 November so proceedings could begin.
If a manslaughter plea is accepted there would be a further hearing when sentencing would take place.
Outside the courtroom, Mr Hunter told ITV Tyne Tees that he was frustrated the case had been adjourned again having travelled the two hours from Cyprus central jail in Nicosia where he is detained.
He said: “It’s frustrating. This is the third time I have been here and been sent straight back."
Mr Hunter, who share a cell with eleven other men, also spoke about trying to put on weight having lost three stone while in prison and having problems with his dentures.
Mr Hunters lawyer Michael Polak, from Justice Abroad, said he is hoping if a manslaughter plea is accepted his client would be given a suspended prison sentence and be able to return home to the UK.
He said: “We’re been talking to prosecution over last few weeks about the potential of some sort of plea deal to get David out of prison and back to the UK.
"Today it has been adjourned until the 18 November when a final decision will be made about what is happening.
"In the cases here they produce a statement of facts what the court has to be sentenced on and we are just coming to a final agreement with the prosecution about those facts.
"That will determine the sentence David is likely to get. We are hopeful with the agreed facts between us David can return to the UK and get a suspended sentence.
"At his age, is there point in him being in prison at all?
"The type of offence, that he was acting in her interest because of her condition. These are the kind of factors that says he is not going to recommit another offence. This is someone who did what he did because of the position he was in.
"We hope when we get to sentencing, the court will follow decisions made in other common law countries around the world.
"There has never been a case like this in Cyprus but there has across in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
"Those judgements on sentencing could be helpful to the judges here in Cyprus."
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...