Ashington man David Hunter who killed wife in Cyprus told murder charge off the table

David Hunter, 75, was facing murder charges in Cyprus after killing his wife Janice, who was suffering from terminal blood cancer. Credit: Family

A British man who was accused of murdering his wife in Cyprus has been told he will be able to plead guilty to manslaughter.

David Hunter, 75, was facing murder charges after he admitted to killing his wife Janice in December 2021.

Mrs Hunter was suffering from terminal blood cancer and lawyers for her husband, who is a former miner from Ashington in Northumberland, say he was acting out of love and wanted to end her suffering.

The couple, who moved to Cyprus in 2002, had been married for 52 years.

She was found dead at their home in the village of Tremithousa in Paphos on 18 December 2021.

Mr Hunter's lawyers said a court in Paphos has been told today there has been an agreement as to the facts and he will be able to enter a plea to manslaughter at the next hearing on 5 December.

Following the deal, Mr Hunter said: "I will be pleading guilty to manslaughter. It's not murder. My wife was asking and asking me to help. I assisted her because she was suffering. 

"She was my best friend for 53 years and it's very difficult to go through something like this without your best friend."

Michael Polak, director of Justice Abroad, which is working with Mr Hunter's lawyers, said: “We are very pleased that the murder charge is no longer on the table as our objective all along has been to get David out of prison and back home as soon as possible.

David and Janice Hunter, who moved to Cyprus in 2002, had been married for 52 years. Credit: Family

"At the next hearing David’s strong mitigation, such as his good character and long and loving relationship with his wife, will be put before the court.

"We hope given the particular facts of this case, and case law in similar cases from around the world, that the eventual sentence is one that the court could consider suspending.

"We thank everyone from the United Kingdom, Cyprus, and around the world for their support of David and his family at this difficult time.”

  • Michael Polak, Director of Justice Abroad

His lawyers had previously tried to reduce the murder charge to one of assisted suicide, but that was rejected by the Cypriot Attorney General.

A murder trial started in September but it was postponed following the request to reduce the charge to one of manslaughter.

Mrs Hunter, who was diagnosed with terminal blood cancer in 2016, was suffocated and found dead in an arm chair while Mr Hunter was found partially sedated after attempting to take his own life.

Mr Hunter claims his wife's final days were spent in unbearable pain and she had begged him to end her life.

Mr Hunter's family is now trying to raise money to assist with the legal costs of bringing him back to the UK.

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