Family of man accused of murdering terminally ill wife launch Crowdfunding appeal

The daughter of a man awaiting trial for murdering his wife is frantically trying to raise enough money to fund his defence.

By Amanda Bourn
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 12:05 pm
Janice and David Hunter.
Janice and David Hunter.

David Hunter, 74, is accused of killing his partner of 56 years, Janice.

The couple, who met when they were teenagers, are originally from Ashington but retired to Paphos in Cyrpus 20 years ago.

Mrs Hunter, 75, was found dead at the home they shared in the village of Tremithousa on December 18 last year. She had been suffering from blood cancer.

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David and Janice Hunter on their wedding day.

Mr Hunter was found heavily sedated and spent two weeks in intensive care. Once he came round, he was arrested for murder.

Mr 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 plea was rejected so a trial is due to begin on June 16. It is expected to last several months, and Mr Hunter’s daughter Lesley Cowthorpe has launched a Crowdfunding appeal to help pay for their legal expenses.

Around £15,000 has already been raised but as the family’s legal bill is likely to run into tens of thousands of pounds, a lot more is still needed.

Mr Hunter worked as a miner for 39 years and the bulk of the cash donated to the appeal so far has come from the North East.

Mrs Cowthorpe told the News Post Leader: “I don’t know what we would have done without their support. I’m not able to thank them [the people of the North East] enough.

"It’s a really tough time to ask people for money, after two years of pandemic and with the cost of living going through the roof, but we’re desperate.

"I know, at 75, my dad doesn’t have many years ahead of him but the ones he does have left, I want him to be comfortable, not sharing a cell with 11 other men.”

Mr Hunter is being represented by Michael Povak, of Justice Abroad.

Mr Povak has experience of the Cypriot justice system, having represented a British woman found guilty of fabricating a claim she was gang raped on the holiday island.

Her conviction was eventually overturned by the Cyprus supreme court after Mr Povak argued her retraction had been unlawfully obtained.

Mrs Cowthorpe said: “I had followed the woman’s case so after dad was arrested, I thought ‘this is the man we want to represent us’.

"I sent him an email on New Year’s Eve and at 11pm he called me back and said he would help us. He is the best man for the job and we are glad to have him in our corner.

"But we also need to pay for other legal counsel, expert witnesses and reports. It’s going to be so expensive, so any financial help we receive will be very much appreciated.

"Miners do not make old men and dad is not in the best of health. We just need to get him home.”

To make a donation to the Crowdfunding appeal, go to https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/help-bring-david-home