Ashington man David Hunter's murder trial to get underway in Cyprus within weeks

The trial of a Northumberland man who is accused of murdering his terminally ill wife is due to start on June 16.

By Amanda Bourn
Friday, 27th May 2022, 5:16 pm

Former miner David Hunter, from Ashington, is in custody in Cyprus.

His wife Janice, 75, had blood cancer and was found dead at the home they shared in the village of Tremithousa in Paphos on December 18 last year.

The court was told that following his arrest, Hunter, 74, gave two statements to police in which he said: “Janice had told me ‘I don’t want to live anymore’.”

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Janice and David Hunter, who had been together for 56 years.

The pair had been together for 56 years, having met and fallen in love when they were teenagers.

Mr Hunter is being represented by Justice Abroad, who is working with Cypriot lawyer Nicoletta Charalambidou, an experienced human rights advocate, and Ritsa Pekri, a criminal law expert.

Barrister Michael Polak, director of Justice Abroad, said: “David is determined, but also very worried about the trial as it will define where he ends his life.

"It's very difficult for him, being out there by himself, but he is still in regular contact with his daughter who tries to keep his spirits up.”

David and Janice Hunter on their wedding day.

Hunter’s legal team had written to the Cypriot attorney general to ask that the murder charge be changed to assisting suicide, and claimed it was not in the public interest for the pensioner to face trial.

However, the authorities did not agree and it will be the first euthanasia trial the country has witnessed.

The Hunters, who were grandparents, retired to Paphos 20 years ago.

Cypriot Police say Janice had been suffocated and was found dead in an armchair. Hunter was discovered partially sedated after attempting to take his own life and spent two weeks in intensive care before being transferred to prison and charged with murder.

He first appeared in court in February where he denied murder, and was remanded to a jail in Nicosia.

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

His family is raising funds to assist with the legal costs. To donate, go to https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/help-bring-david-home/