Cyprus court shown video of man accused of killing wife moments before police arrive at home

  • Video report by Katie Cole

A court in Cyprus has been shown a harrowing video of a British man accused of murdering his wife moments before police arrived at their home in Paphos.

David Hunter, who is standing trial for the murder of his wife Janice, who had terminal blood cancer, gave evidence for the first time during a hearing on Wednesday 18 January.

The court heard the 75-year-old, who had also tried to take his own life, had called his family in the UK on the night of 18 December 2021 to tell them his wife was dead.

The court was shown a video call with his daughter Lesley, taken moments before police arrived.

Mr Hunter's lawyers claim it shows he was not in the right mental state.

During the call, she told him repeatedly: “Daddy, I’m your girl. I’ve always been your girl.”

David and Janice Hunter had retired to Cyprus after moving from Ashington, Northumberland. Credit: Family

Mr Hunter, a former miner from Ashington, Northumberland, was also shown pictures of the couple’s home, as well as pictures of his wife.

Visibly upset, Mr Hunter said he had no recollection of the night police were called to the couples home in Paphos.

He said: “I opened the door and the police came in. A man sat in front of me and asked me questions. I wasn't listening, my mind was elsewhere.

“It looked like a dream, when he was asking questions it was like I was in a tunnel. I didn't know what was saying."

'Daddy, I’m your girl,' Mr Hunter's bereft daughter tells him on the video call

This video contains distressing images

The prosecutor said: “I put it to you Mr Hunter that you spoke to a female officer and you told her ‘my wife has leukaemia and she had too much pain she asked me to help her not to suffer anymore, afterwards I killed her with my hands.

Mr Hunter replied: “I can’t remember.”

The court was shown statements from Mr Hunter made to police and in hospital - including one where he told an officer he had killed his wife to save her and as he had held her mouth and nose for 15 minutes, she had resisted.

Mr Hunter said he did not recognise the statements.

He said: “I have never signed like that before. It's my name but that is not my signature.”

Mr Hunter lawyers want these statements removed as evidence as they say police did not follow correct procedures.

In December, the prosecution and defence appeared closed to reaching an agreement for Hunter to plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter. The agreement was vetoed by the Cyprus Attorney General, with the defence accusing the prosecutors of a U-turn.

“I was devastated [when that happened],” David Hunter said on Tuesday. “My daughter was crying.”

Hunter also told journalist he was keen to testify, and that the trial’s many adjournments are taking their toll. “It’s not like you see on TV, I didn’t expect it” he said.

The case has been adjourned until 26 January.

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