Daughter of man accused of murdering terminally-ill wife share horror

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The daughter of a man accused of killing his terminally-ill wife has described the family’s “nightmare” as the court in Cyprus attended the case. David Hunter, a 75-year-old retired coal miner from Northumberland, is on trial for premeditated murder after a plea deal on the lesser charge of manslaughter collapsed.

On Tuesday, a court in Cyprus ruled the confession of the accused to killing his terminally ill wife was obtained lawfully and can be used in evidence against him.

His lawyer said David knew he was in “no fit state to be interviewed” at the time of the incident in December 2021.

His wife Janice, 75, died of asphyxiation at their home near Paphos, before the ex-miner tried to take his own life.

Hunter has admitted to killing his wife but his legal team has argued it was assisted suicide at her request.

The pensioner’s defence team had argued his confession should be inadmissible as evidence in the trial, claiming he was not provided with his right to a lawyer or to remain silent before statements were taken from him when he was arrested on suspicion of his wife.

The defence team had previously shown videos in the court of the horrifying moment David’s daughter Lesley spoke to her father on a video call in the immediate aftermath of her mother’s death.

Lesley Cawthorne, 49, David’s daughter told the Mirror: “How could anybody see that video and say a man – who did not recognise his own daughter – was lucid? It’s like a never-ending nightmare and I don’t know if I’m ever going to wake up.”

The court found that David was lucid and aware of what was happening, shown by the fact that he took pills and called his brother after killing Janice.

His legal team said that they will appeal at the country’s Supreme Court in the capital Nicosia.

Michael Polak, of Justice Abroad, the group representing Hunter, said the pensioner is “shocked and dejected” at the decision.

He said: “We called a forensic psychiatrist to give evidence and his evidence was totally rejected by the court.

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