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British man jailed for suffocating terminally ill wife in Cyprus after she ‘begged him to’

A British man jailed for suffocating his terminally ill wife in Cyprus after she “begged him to” will soon be released after spending nearly two and a half years behind bars.

David Hunter, 76, was jailed for two years for the manslaughter of Janice, 74, his spouse of 52 years, who died of asphyxiation at their home near the coastal resort town of Paphos in December 2021.

Paphos District Court earlier heard his motive was to “liberate his wife from all that she was going through due to her health conditions”.

The court heard it was Mrs Hunter’s “wish” to die and that her husband “had only feelings of love for her”.

Hunter, a retired miner from Ashington, Northumberland had told his trial, which lasted for more than a year, that his wife “cried and begged” him to end her life as she suffered from blood cancer.

On Monday, judges at Paphos District Court imposed a two-year jail sentence on Hunter, who having already spent 19 months in custody has already served the majority of his sentence.

Michael Polak, the director of Justice Abroad, which is representing Hunter, said that in Cyprus a defendant will spend 10 months in custody for every year that they are jailed.

Mr Polak said Hunter will be released on August 18 at the latest but could be let out earlier for good behaviour.

Judges previously found him not guilty of the more serious charge of premeditated murder.

Hunter’s legal team had argued he should be given a suspended sentence, in a case which is a legal first in the country.

David Hunter is transported from Paphos District Court in Cyprus after he was found guilty by Cypriot judges of the manslaughter of his terminally ill wife Janice (Victoria Jones/PA)

(PA Wire)

In mitigation last week, his defence lawyer, Ritsa Pekri, said his motive was to “liberate his wife from all that she was going through due to her health conditions”.

The court heard it was Mrs Hunter’s “wish” to die and that her husband “had only feelings of love for her”.

Hunter, from Ashington, Northumberland, told his trial, which lasted for more than a year, that his wife “cried and begged” him to end her life.

He broke down in tears as he said he would “never in a million years” have taken Mrs Hunter’s life unless she had asked him to.

He showed the court how he held his hands over his wife’s mouth and nose and said he eventually decided to grant her wish after she became “hysterical”.

The court heard he then tried to kill himself by taking an overdose, but medics arrived in time to save him.

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