ATHENS — A Briton living in Cyprus with his wife will accept a manslaughter plea which could see him released from prison for saying he killed her in an act of euthanasia because of blood cancer.
David Hunter has been charged with the death of Janice Hunter, 74, in December 2021 at the couple’s retirement home in the town of Paphos, and Justice Abroad, who represents him, said a plea deal has been reached.
Hunter insisted he smothered his wife in a ‘mercy murder’ after she asked to be spared a long, gruesome death, British newspaper The Independent said, and then attempted suicide with an overdose of pills.
Lawyers asked authorities to charge him with assisted suicide, but were rejected by the island’s attorney general and he was tried in Paphos District Court, according to the report. The couple had been together for 56 years.
The hearing was adjourned in October while Hunter’s legal team and prosecutors discussed moving the charge from murder to the lesser offense of manslaughter.
Michael Polak, Director of Justice Abroad, said: “We are very pleased that the murder charge is no longer on the table as our goal has always been to get David out of jail and back home as soon as possible. “
He said at the next hearing that mitigating circumstances would be brought to show that the couple had a long romantic relationship and that the murder was intended to spare him and fulfill his last wishes.
Hunter will enter a guilty plea Dec. 5, according to the report. “It’s not murder. My wife was asking and asking me to help. I helped her because she was in pain. She was my best friend for 53 years and it’s very hard to go through something like this without your best friend, he said.