The trial of David Hunter, 74, for the murder of his wife Janice in Paphos has turned into a war of words between the prosecution and the defence, as they continued to debate whether an agreement existed between the couple to commit the act.
At the Paphos Criminal Court hearing, the prosecution and the defence exchanged barbs of the facts that led to Hunter’s wife, Janice’s death in December 2021.
Then, Paphos police had been alerted to the couple’s home in Tremithousa, Paphos, where they found Janice dead in her chair covered in her favourite blanket, and David on the brink of death having taken pills to end his own life.
According to the case history, Hunter caused the death of his wife Janice, who was in the final stages of cancer, because he could not bear to watch her suffer.
In his statement to the police and to his brother after the crime, Hunter had claimed that what he did was also his wife’s will, a key sticking point between the prosecution and the defence, who on Monday rehashed the details.
Prior to the hearing this morning, the defence had been trying to get the charge of murder reduced to manslaughter, something the prosecution had initially seemed to agree with.
However, last month during the hearing, Hunter’s charge was kept at murder.
At Monday’s hearing, new witnesses for the prosecution were presented, so that the court can decide whether what the 74-year-old defendant reported to the police is voluntary or not.
Prosecutor Andreas Hadjikyrou said that it is not a fact that there was an agreement between the 74-year-old and his wife to kill her.
However, defence attorneys Nicoletta Charalambidou and Ritsa Pekri said that the defence insists that the 75-year-old’s death was the result of an agreement between the two.
In his statement to the police and to his brother, after the crime, Hunter had claimed that this was also the will of his wife, something which the prosecution could not accept, since as it was emphasised in court, such a thing could set a legal precedent for future crimes.
At Monday’s hearing, the police officer who was one of the first persons to arrive at the scene in Tremithousa, testified – followed by a constable, who also arrived at the scene. Last to testify was the sergeant, who took the defendant’s voluntary statement. The witnesses were cross-examined by defence attorneys.
Hunter will appear in court again on January 17.
Currently, the court is examining if Hunter’s statements to police were voluntary or not, because if they weren’t than they will not be considered as testimony.
Hunter will remain in custody until the next hearing.