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Tuesday May 16, 2023 – The British man who killed his wife at their retirement home in Cyprus has claimed she “cried and begged” for him to kill her.

David Hunter, a retired coal miner from Northumberland, UM is on trial for premeditated murder after his wife Janice died of asphyxiation in 2021.

Speaking during his testimony at Paphos District Court on Monday, May 15, David says they had a “perfect” 52-year marriage and broke down in tears as he described the moment he killed his terminally ill wife.

The 75-year-old previously admitted to killing his wife and his lawyers say it was assisted suicide at her request, to stop the pain of terminal leukaemia.

However, last week the court heard from Mrs Hunter’s doctor said she had a rare blood cancer, but might not have had terminal leukaemia.

In court on Monday May 15, David spoke of how Janice had become progressively more ill with blood cancer and had no quality of life.

“She cried and begged me to help her,” David, from Ashington, Northumberland, told the court.

“For five or six weeks before she died she was asking me to help her, she was asking me more every day.”

Prosecutors failed to accept that his wife asked him to end her life unless he had proof.

“If we accept this, every other man in the future who kills a woman will say ‘We had an agreement”, State prosecutor Andreas Hadjikyrou said

David refused to kill his wife until one day he agreed in the hope it would calm her. He insisted he had no intention of carrying out the act.

But nine days later, on December 18 2021, David pressed his hands over his wife’s mouth and nose.

David said in court: “She was sleeping in the leather chair downstairs and for the last week we slept down on those chairs together.

“I felt so helpless and hopeless that I couldn’t do anything for her. Every day she asked me a bit more intensely to do it.

“I didn’t want to do it after 57 years together. I really didn’t want to do it. She started crying and begging me. I didn’t want to do it, I said no.

“She said, ‘I can’t go on, this isn’t life for me. We just go to the hospital and stay at home. I can’t go on.

“She started becoming hysterical, so I told her, ‘Yes, I’m going to help you’.”

David said he stood up from his seat and walked towards the kettle to make a coffee, with Janice sobbing as she remained seated.

David found himself leaning over, gripping a kitchen bench with both hands while his wife cried uncontrollably.

“I turned to my wife and she was still crying,” David said with tears in his eyes.

“The next thing I knew I put my hands here [over her nose and mouth] and when it finished she was a grey colour.

“She did not attempt to stop me. I don’t know how long I kept my hands there.

“She didn’t look like my wife at all and it was the first time I cried after many years.”

David’s lawyers said that he was suffering from dissociation at the time and that he needed a psychiatric assessment.

However, the court found that Hunter was syablr at the time and was aware of what was happening, demonstrated by a call to his brother afterwards saying he was also going to kill himself.

David said in the following nine days, before her death, he had hoped she would change her mind.

“I would never kill my wife,” he told prosecutor Andreas Hadjikyrou under cross-examination.

Asked by defence lawyer Ritsa Pekri how the last days were, Hunter said: “She was crying, crying, crying, begging, begging, begging.

“She wasn’t taking any care of herself. For the last two or three weeks she could not move her arms and had trouble with her legs, she couldn’t balance.

“She was only eating soup, she couldn’t hold anything down. She lost a lot of weight. She lost so much weight that there was no flesh to put her injections in.”

Her illness have her acute diarrhoea that for the last three-and-a-half years of her life she had to wear nappies, David told the court.

David’s lawyer Michael Polak, from the Justice Abroad organisation, said: “I think he did well [giving evidence]. He’s pleased to be able to speak about it. He was the only person there when it happened.

“Nobody really knows what happened aside from him. It’s still a very sad, tragic case.

“They had a long, loving relationship. He took one of the most difficult decisions anyone could ever be asked to take from someone they love.”

David told the press after the hearing: “I got my say, this is what I wanted. To tell them things that they never even thought about.

“The last six months, I wouldn’t like anyone to go through that. Prison is nothing compared to what we went through.”

As the hearing came to a close, Hunter asked to address the judge, telling him: “My wife was suffering and she actually said, ‘I don’t want to live anymore,’ and I still said no.

“I was hoping she would change her mind. I loved her so much. I did not plan it, I swear to God.”

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