Cyprus: Man accused of murdering terminally ill wife, ‘very afraid’ of dying behind bars

David Hunter and wife Janice

He is charged with murder after a charge of “assisted suicide” was dismissed

A Briton accused of murdering his terminally ill wife in Cyprus is “scared” he will die behind bars if convicted.

David Hunter, 75, is due to appear in court Thursday over the death of his childhood sweetheart Janice at her home on the island last year.

She was allegedly suffocated by Mr Hunter, who then tried to take his own life but survived.

The couple had been happily married for 56 years, but Ms Hunter was diagnosed with terminal blood cancer and wanted to die, Hunter’s lawyers said.

However, a charge of “assisting suicide” was dismissed and the former miner now faces a life sentence if found guilty of the murder.

Image by David & Janice Hunter, provided by Dan Sanderson

David Hunter, 75, is due to appear in court on Thursday in the death of his wife Janet

Before the trial, the couple’s daughter Lesley Cawthorne said her father was “haunted” by memories of her mother “crying out in pain”.

She told Sky News: “My father told me what happened and I have no reason not to believe him or think anything other than that he is telling me the truth.

“My mother made her wishes clear and my father helped her.”

Lesley said her mother was in “severe pain” from a range of health conditions, including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and cataracts.

Her parents, teenage lovers, had moved to Cyprus 20 years ago after their retirement.

However, Ms Hunter’s quality of life has become “virtually non-existent” in her final weeks due to her health issues.

Lesley said her mother, a former corner store clerk, “couldn’t make it upstairs to bed every night” and that her parents often “slept next to each other in their armchairs.”

“She had chronic diarrhea and my dad made her diapers out of towels.” said Lesley.

“Because of the pain she was in, she couldn’t really sleep well.

Undated family photo of David Hunter, 74, and Janice Hunter, 75, on their wedding day. Mr Hunter has denied murdering his wife in Cyprus as his lawyers seek to change the charge to assisted suicide. Mr Hunter, originally from Northumberland, is in custody and will face court in April on charges of killing his wife Janice at their home in Paphos in December. Mr Hunter entered a plea of ​​not guilty to a murder charge in Paphos District Court on Thursday. Issue date: Thursday February 10, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story COURTS Hunter. Photo credit should read: PA Wire EDITORS' NOTE: This handout photo may be used for editorial reporting purposes only as a contemporaneous illustration of the event, thing or person depicted in the image or the fact mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the image may require further permission from the copyright owner.

David Hunter and Janice Hunter were married for 56 years (Image: PA)

“She found it difficult to swallow, so she found it difficult to eat and drink, which obviously affected her energy levels.

“In the last few days her eyesight had been failing.

“Things were very bad.”

Mr and Mrs Hunter were found at their home in the village of Tremithousa, Paphos, on December 18.

Mr Hunter – who has pleaded not guilty to the murder – has spent more than five months behind bars in a cell with up to 11 other men awaiting trial.

His daughter fears he will not survive 12 to 15 years in prison if found guilty.

She said her father was physically “not in the best of health” after spending 40 years “under the pit” as a miner.

She said he was also “very fragile” emotionally, scared and lonely.

She said her father was not a risk to society and asked the judges handling the case to show some compassion.

She said: “I absolutely understand their culture and beliefs and we have great respect for Cyprus because it has given my parents a wonderful retirement.

“But if they could find it to show some compassion towards me and my family and give me back my father then I would be enormously grateful because they would be doing my family the greatest favor and we would be forever in their debt.” .’

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Justin Scacco

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