Lawyer says Ashington man accused of murdering wife is keen to defend charge

The lawyer representing a Northumberland man charged with murdering his wife insists his client is “steadfast and determined” to defend the charge.

By Amanda Bourn
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 12:48 pm
Janice and David Hunter, who had been together for 56 years.
Janice and David Hunter, who had been together for 56 years.

David Hunter, 74, is accused of killing his childhood sweetheart Janice, who he was with for 56 years.

The pair, who are grandparents, are from Ashington but retired to Paphos in Cyprus 20 years ago.

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. Her husband was found heavily sedated and spent two weeks in a coma. Once he came round, police charged him with murder.

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Hunter’s legal team had written to the Cypriot attorney general to ask that the murder charge be changed to assisting suicide – which carries a maximum 10-year sentence – and claimed it was not in the public interest for the pensioner to face trial.

However, the team did not receive a reply. The trial was therefore due to get underway on Monday but has been put off until June 16 as evidence seized from the property and medical evidence to be relied upon by the prosecution was not ready in time for the hearing.

The former miner 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.

Michael Polak, director of Justice Abroad, said: "It is hard to see how the prosecution of David Hunter for murder is in the public interest, given his age and the circumstances of this case.

"Although David is disappointed that our submissions for the charge to be changed to assisting suicide fell on deaf ears, he is steadfast and determined to defend the charge of murder.

"He is buoyed by the messages of support from those in Cyprus, the United Kingdom, and across the world and we will be doing everything we can to get David home.”

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