A Brit pensioner who killed his terminally ill wife could be released from prison next week and has joked about scoffing hamburgers if it happens.
David Hunter, 76, will be sentenced for the manslaughter of Janice Hunter, 74, after she died of asphyxiation at their home in Cyprus in December 2021, reports The Mirror.
Last week Hunter, from Northumberland, was cleared of premeditated murder. It means he could walk free on Monday (July 31) if he is handed a suspended sentence.
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Hunter has been in a Nicosia prison for 19 months eating just olives and beans. He told The Mirror: "I’m in good spirits. I’m ok, I’m still exercising. But I’ll look better after a few hamburgers."
Mitigating, his lawyer Ritsa Pekri argued Hunter’s motive was to “liberate his wife from all that she was going through due to her health conditions”.
“There is no doubt the accused is facing one of the most serious charges in our law,” she said.
“There were no personal benefits from his acts. He only had feelings of love for her. He’s 76-years-old, a calm person, a family man and has never had any problems with the law. He looked after his wife during a very difficult time in her life.”
After hearing submissions from both the prosecution and defence, the judge at Paphos District Court said Hunter will be sentenced on Monday.
The defence team said there have been no similar cases in Cyprus and so they had instead drawn from similar cases in New Zealand, Australia and Canada. "We believe the suitable decision drawn from these cases is a suspended sentence," Ms Pekri said.
State prosecutor Andreas Hadjikyrou argued that the Hunter's case "was not one of euthanasia".
Michael Polak, director of Justice Abroad, which is representing Hunter, said: "We gave lengthy written submissions which include case law from across common law countries such as Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Australia.
"This is important as Cyprus has never sentenced a case such as this before. Cases from those jurisdictions show that a suspended sentence can be given in these circumstances. We will be asking the court to give David a suspended sentence.
"He has spent the equivalent of almost two-and-a-half years in custody and no proper purpose would be served by him spending more time in prison."
Hunter 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. 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".
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