Daughter of man accused of murdering his wife is 'fearing the worst'
Daughter of British expat accused of murdering his terminally-ill wife is ‘hoping for the best but fearing the worst’ ahead of Cyprus court’s verdict
- Former miner David Hunter is on trial for killing his spouse of 52 years, Janice
- The couple’s daughter Lesley Cawthorne said she is ‘not feeling very optimistic’
- Read: David Hunter acted out of ‘love and mercy’ when he suffocated his wife
The daughter of a British expat accused of murdering his terminally-ill wife is hoping for the best but ‘fearing the worst’ as a Cypriot court prepares to deliver its verdict.
Former miner David Hunter is on trial for killing his spouse of 52 years, Janice, who died of asphyxiation in December 2021 at the couple’s retirement home near the coastal resort town of Paphos.
The 76-year-old denies murder and told a court his wife, who was 74, was suffering with blood cancer and ‘begged him’ to end her life.
On Friday a three-judge panel will deliver its verdict on whether Hunter committed premeditated murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence.
The couple’s daughter Lesley Cawthorne said she is ‘not feeling very optimistic’ ahead of the court’s decision.
David Hunter, pictured with his wife Janice (centre) and daughter Leslie Cawthorne (left), is on trial for killing Janice who died of asphyxiation in December 2021
David Hunter (left) smothered his wife, Janice, in 2021 at their retirement home in Cyprus
Ms Cawthorne, pictured with her mother, said she is ‘not feeling very optimistic’ ahead of the court’s decision
She said her father is ‘anxious, tired and lonely’ and the past ’19 months has taken a huge toll on him’.
‘I think the hope has been crushed out of him,’ she said.
‘He would probably tell other people he’s keeping his chin up but I see how much he’s struggling.’
Ms Cawthorne said the family has been ‘worn down’ by the long trial and the court’s previous ruling that a confession Hunter made when he was arrested could be used as evidence against him.
READ MORE: Brit pensioner David Hunter acted out of ‘love and mercy’ when he suffocated his terminally-ill wife in Cyprus, court hears as lawyers make closing arguments
‘He was very clearly not in his right mind when they took it,’ she said.
The pensioner’s defence team argued his confession should have been inadmissible during the trial, claiming he was suffering from dissociation at the time, but a judge found Hunter was lucid and dismissed the application.
Giving evidence in May, Hunter told the District Court in Paphos he would ‘never in a million years’ have taken Janice’s life unless she had asked him to, adding: ‘She wasn’t just my wife, she was my best friend.’
Hunter demonstrated to the court how he held his hands over Janice’s mouth and nose and said he eventually decided to grant his wife’s wish after she became ‘hysterical’.
Hunter, from Ashington in Northumberland, said: ‘For five or six weeks before she died she was asking me to help her. She was asking me more every day.
‘In the last week she was crying and begging me. Every day she asked me a bit more intensely to do it.’
Hunter told the court he tried to kill himself after his wife’s death.
When the police arrived to quiz him after his suicide bid failed, he said he ‘was interested in nothing’.
She said her father is ‘anxious, tired and lonely’ and the past ’19 months has taken a huge toll on him’
On Friday, a three-judge panel will deliver its verdict on whether Hunter committed premeditated murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence. Pictured: David and Janice Hunter seen on their wedding day
Ms Cawthorne said the family has been ‘worn down’ by the long trial. Pictured: David Hunter (right) arriving at Paphos District Court in Cyprus
During closing speeches in June, Hunter’s defence team said it was not a case of premeditated murder and Hunter ‘acted spontaneously’ to end Mrs Hunter’s life ‘upon her begging him to do so’.
Michael Polak, director of Justice Abroad, which is representing Hunter, told reporters: ‘This remains a tragic case. Janice and David were loving partners for over 50 years and enjoyed their retirement together in Cyprus until she became ill and was in excruciating pain.
‘We remain hopeful that David will receive a verdict that does not deny him a chance of leaving prison and returning home.’
Source: Read Full Article