British pensioner to admit manslaughter of terminally ill wife in Cyprus after deal

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David Hunter is accused over the death of 74-year-old Janice Hunter, who has terminal blood cancer, died in December 2021 at the couple’s retirement home in the town of Paphos, Cyprus. At a hearing on Friday, Justice Abroad, representing Mr Hunter said the prosecution and defence have agreed on facts in the case and he will enter a guilty plea of manslaughter on December 5.

They said they are now hopeful the legal moves will lead to Mr Hunter being released from prison and able to return home after the next hearing.

Mr Hunter insisted he suffocated Janice, in a “mercy killing” after she asked to be spared a long, agonising death.

The retired miner from Northumberland tried to kill himself with an overdose as his beloved wife lay dead.

Lawyers asked for authorities to charge him with assisted suicide but were turned down by the island’s attorney general and he was put on trial at Paphos District Court.

The hearing was halted last month while Hunter’s legal team and prosecutors discussed switching the murder charge to the lesser offence of manslaughter.

Michael Polak, director of Justice Abroad, said mitigation such as “good character” and the “loving relationship” between the couple will be put to the court.

He 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.

“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.”

Mr Hunter will now enter a guilty plea on december 5. 

He 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.”

Mr Hunter will now enter a guilty plea on December 5. 

He 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.”

Earlier this year, Mr Hunter’s daughter Lesley told The Mirror that her mother had “begged him for a long time (to assist her death) and was very clear about what she wanted”.

The couple had been together for 56 years, moving to Cyprus 20 years ago following retirement.

Euthanasia is illegal in Cyprus, although the country’s parliament has begun debating changes to the law.



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