A British expat on trial for murdering his terminally ill wife in Cyprus could be freed next week after being acquitted of murder today.
David Hunter, 75, who spent 19 months caged in a Cypriot jail, pleaded not guilty to the premeditated murder of his childhood sweetheart Janice, 74, to end her suffering.
A judge in Cyprus found him guilty of a lesser charge of murder which could see him walk away with a suspended sentence. He will learn his fate in Paphos District Court next Friday.
Earlier, it emerged that Mr Hunter had been left so ‘destitute’ that he would not have been able to appeal against the guilty verdict if he had been found guilty of murder.
The spiraling costs of her harrowing 19-month trial consumed her entire savings. This left him unable to afford phone calls to friends in prison and to survive on the meager free rations.
‘It breaks my heart,’ said her daughter, Leslie Cawthorne, 50. ‘When my mother was alive she had a house, a car and money in the bank. Now she has a carrier bag with her clothes – that’s all she has.’
David Hunter, 75, who spent 19 months caged in a Cypriot jail, pleaded not guilty to the premeditated murder to end the suffering of his childhood sweetheart Janice, 74.
David Hunter, 75, originally from Northumberland, was charged with murdering his 46-year-old wife Janice at their home in Paphos in December 2021. Today he was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter
A prison van carrying David Hunter arrived at Paphos District Court in Cyprus on Friday
Mr. Hunter faced a mandatory life sentence if convicted of premeditated murder.
He has a crowdfunder open for his defense and has run up thousands of pounds in debt fighting the case.
Mrs Cawthorne said: ‘I don’t know what we’re going to do. He said he wanted to appeal, he said, ‘We have to, I can’t spend the rest of my life here.’
‘I don’t really know what we’re going to do. I don’t know where we will get the money. It’s going to be thousands.’
Mr Hunter struck up a friendship with British cellmate Wayne Williams, 27. But since Mr Williams was released three months ago he has been held with 11 hardened criminals who cannot speak a word of English.
Her only chance to talk is on her phone, but she can now only afford to call her daughter occasionally.
She said: ‘He has no one to talk to. He can’t call people.
‘He’s not allowed to take calls, he has to pay to do them himself. He hasn’t been able to talk to his brother or his friends Barry and Kevin for a while. He only talks to me.
‘It’s absolutely devastating.’
David Hunt arrived at a court in Cyprus today where he will find out if he has been found guilty of murdering his terminally ill wife Janice.
Police officers took David Hunter to court in Paphos on Friday
Mr Hunter’s daughter, Lesley Cawthorne, 50, said it ‘broke her heart’ that her father had been kept ‘unshackled’ from justice.
David Hunter and his wife Janice on their wedding day
Mr Hunter wants to pay his last respects to his wife when she is released today.
A retired Northumberland miner was forced to treat him for terminal blood cancer at home with injections due to Covid restrictions as he deteriorated before his eyes.
In her final days she cried in agony 24 hours a day, unable to move from their couch or take painkillers as she begged him to kill her.
He finally took his own life on December 18, 2021. He tried to overdose, but the authorities arrived and pumped his stomach and put him on trial for premeditated murder.
Mrs Cawthorne said: ‘He wants to see my mum. He wants to sit down and talk to her. He needs it for his mental health.
‘I think if he was offered release but he couldn’t meet him and had to go straight back he would refuse. He just wants to meet my mother.’
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