23/02/2024

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Brit accused of murdering his terminally ill wife said I really didn’t want to do it

Brit accused of murdering his terminally ill wife said I really didn’t want to do it

The British pensioner accused of murdering his terminally ill wife in Cyprus has told how she ‘cried and begged’ him to kill her for weeks.

David Hunter, 75, was overcome with emotion as he described his agonising final months with Janice, 74, before he took the heartbreaking decision to end her suffering.

He told how his teenage sweetheart was reduced to wearing nappies, was covered in skin lesions and could no longer stand from her devastating blood cancer.

The retired miner was forced to treat her himself at home due to Covid restrictions as she deteriorated in front of his eyes.

He told the court his wife was left crying out in agony 24 hours a day.

David Hunter smothered his wife in 2021 at their retirement home in Cyprus

David Hunter smothered his wife in 2021 at their retirement home in Cyprus

David Hunter smothered his wife in 2021 at their retirement home in Cyprus

‘I would never have helped her end her life if she had not begged me,’ he said, giving evidence for the first time after over 20 appearances in 18 months. ‘For six weeks she asked if I could help her. For six weeks I refused.’

Describing her agony, he told Paphos District Court: ‘She was lying down, she was in pain, suffering. I would do anything to help her. The last thing on my mind was to take her life. The last thing.’

He said she was ‘stuck in the house’ and couldn’t move because of her diarrhoea – a side effect of her medication that saw her wear nappies for her last three years.

‘She cried, she couldn’t do nothing, she couldn’t move,’ he said. ‘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. For five or six weeks before she died she was asking me to help her, she was asking me more every day.

‘In the last week she was crying and begging me. 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.’

Mr Hunter said he repeatedly told her he couldn’t bring himself to kill her, but she implored him, telling him: ‘I can’t go on, this isn’t life for me.’

In the last few days she went from just crying to being more emotional. He said: ‘She started becoming hysterical, so I told her, ‘Yes, I’m going to help you’. I just told her that to calm her down.’

Asked how the last few days were, Mr Hunter said: ‘She was crying, crying, crying, begging, begging, begging.

‘She wasn’t taking any care of herself. 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.’

He said in those final days he was ‘thinking about what to do 24/7’ before finally taking the decision to go through with it when she once more started crying out in pain.

Mr Hunter made his first statement in court today and was visibly shaking as he gave evidence

Mr Hunter made his first statement in court today and was visibly shaking as he gave evidence

Mr Hunter made his first statement in court today and was visibly shaking as he gave evidence

Mr Hunter said: ‘I remember that I had my hand on her mouth and nose. I don’t even know how I thought about it. I don’t know how long I kept my hands there for.

‘She did not attempt to stop me… I don’t even think she opened her eyes.’

After she died, he kissed her forehead and told her he loved her, before confessing to his brother who alerted the police. He said he cannot remember being arrested or giving interviews to police.

In cross examination, prosecutor Andreas Hadjikyrou said: ‘I put it to you that you had decided to kill her and there was no common consent, and that you just had to decide what day to kill her on.’

Mr Hunter replied: ‘No, I never intended to kill her. I had hoped for eight or nine days that she would get better, that she would change her mind.’

He added: ‘The last thing on my mind was to take her life – the last thing,’ before pointing to the prosecutor and saying: ‘That’s his idea, that’s not my idea.’

Earlier he told how he met his wife when he was 20 and she was 19. She came across the room and asked him for a dance at a miners’ hall party in Northumberland.

‘She came up to me and said, ‘You’re sitting in my seat.’ I hadn’t ever seen such a beautiful woman,’ he said.

From there, they were always together, he said, and they married in St John’s Church in Ashington in 1969.

Asked how their marriage was, he said: ‘Perfect.’ He told how he worked seven days a week in the mine to pay for their only child, Leslie, to become the first member of the family to go to university.

He and his wife would visit Cyprus on holidays and bought a property there in 1999 before moving across two years later to retire there.

Mr Hunter said: ‘The first 16 years before she got sick, apart from a few operations, it was absolutely fantastic.’

But Mr Hunter suffered a stroke in 2015 and it was on regular trips to the hospital for his treatment that a doctor noticed his wife was looking very pale.

She was diagnosed with blood cancer and was having to go to Nicosia every week for procedures and injections.

As her condition deteriorated she asked to go to Paphos General Hospital because she couldn’t face the journeys, but when Covid hit it was closed and so they kept her injections in their fridge and self-medicated.

Mr Hunter told how he called the hospital five times a day but there was no answer, and he was forced to travel to centres further away for help and supplies.

She had two 125EUR injections per week but started suffering side effects including diarrhoea, headaches, dizziness and nose bleeds.

Mrs Hunter’s haemoglobin levels were such that she was unable to take painkillers and was left in agony at home, unable to move.

In her last months she underwent a series of operations for skin lesions on her face and hands, as well as a knee operation and another for her collarbone.

The trial continues.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk