Further legal fight for ex-miner as Cypriot attorney general files appeal

British expat David Hunter was released from custody on July 31 after a court sentenced him to two years in jail for the manslaughter of wife Janice.

A retired miner who was freed from prison after killing his seriously ill wife is to have his verdict and sentence appealed against by the attorney general in Cyprus, his legal team have said.

British expat David Hunter was released from custody on July 31 after a court sentenced him to two years in jail for the manslaughter of Janice, his spouse of 52 years.

The 76-year-old was allowed to walk free within 15 minutes of being sentenced at Paphos District Court due to time already served and good behaviour.

Mr Hunter spent 19 months in prison before being found guilty of manslaughter, but cleared of the more serious charge of premeditated murder.

On Thursday his legal team said the Cypriot attorney general has now filed an appeal against Mr Hunter’s sentence and acquittal for murder.

It means the pensioner, who had decided to stay in Cyprus to be near his wife’s grave, faces a further legal fight.

The couple’s daughter Lesley Cawthorne told the PA news agency she was “devastated” at the news.

In a statement, Ms Cawthorne said the family “would again urge compassion for my elderly and frail father”.

“We continue to be so very grateful for all the support we have had,” she added.

Michael Polak, director of Justice Abroad, said he was “very disappointed” with the decision, which “gets in the way of David getting on with his life”.

Mr Polak said: “He has spent 19 months in prison and faced legal proceedings over that period that would be difficult for anyone, but especially for someone of his age.

David Hunter court case – Cyprus
David Hunter with his defence team and Michael Polak, the director of Justice Abroad, outside Paphos District Court in Cyprus after he was released from custody (Victoria Jones/PA)

“This is a very sad matter, however, it is difficult to see how the continued pursuit of David assists anyone.

“We will continue to fight for David before the Appeal Court of Cyprus as we have done throughout the lengthy mission to free David.”

Mr Hunter told his trial he suffocated Mrs Hunter after she “begged” him to as she was suffering from a rare form of blood cancer.

A three-judge panel accepted the defence case that he had spontaneously acted “out of love” for his wife after she asked him to help end her life.

More from Perspective

Get a free copy of our print edition


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Your email address will not be published. The views expressed in the comments below are not those of Perspective. We encourage healthy debate, but racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other types of hateful comments will not be published.