Cyprus Mail

Briton who killed wife ‘did everything he could to help her’

david hunter, paphos court
David Hunter at Paphos criminal court for a previous hearing (Photo: Christos Theodorides)

Retired British miner David Hunter did everything he could to help his terminally ill wife Janice as her condition deteriorated in the last few years of her life and became increasingly depressed, Paphos criminal court heard on Tuesday.

With the final two witnesses taking the stand, the hearing now sets in motion the last stages of 74-year-old Hunter’s murder trial.

“Janice often told us that her great wish was not to be taken to the hospital. And I think David made this possible,” Helmut Kesting, a neighbour of the British couple told the court.

Kesting has lived with his wife in Cyprus since 2020 and described Hunter as a “quiet, reliable and reasonable man. He and Janice always were very helpful and friendly to us.”

The neighbour told the court how Hunter would do everything he could to help Janice with her medicine, even during the Covid-19 pandemic when there were supply constraints and restrictions.

“What I want to say is, to look after Janice was a very demanding job and I think he did this very well.”

Kesting described the couple as being very loving with each other with both Hunter and Janice being very proud of the relationship they had together.

“They invited us to their home and showed us a lot of pictures, photo albums of their past trips. I never heard shouting or fights. I believe they were in full harmony together.”

The deteriorating state of Janice’s health was an issue that the two couples discussed very often as Kesting highlighted how he saw Hunter’s wife transform since he first met her.

“I think things changed, in 2020 Janice was optimistic. And she did not feel so bad. But the next year you could see that her health was deteriorating. She became more and more depressed.”

Janice and David Hunter

In Janice’s last three or four months, Kesting said he and his wife had no contact with her at all as Janice did not wish to talk to anyone.

The witness also responded negatively to a question of whether Hunter had ever complained about taking care of Janice.

Also taking the stand was Janice’s hairdresser Anna Isaia, who struggled to maintain her composure.

“The last time I saw them was on the Wednesday before it happened,” she told court, referring to the killing.

She highlighted how Janice would often tell her she was in severe pain, particularly in the last few months of her life when she complained of being unable to sleep at night due to how much pain she was in.

“I think she realised she didn’t have long left. Last time I saw her she was really sad and cried.

“She lost a lot of weight. She was getting worse, struggling to move and walk.”

Isaia told the court Hunter and his wife would go to the hairdresser where she worked every two weeks.

Hunter was always with his wife and was “very polite, he loved Janice a lot. It showed, he was very caring and loving.

“When we heard about what happened we didn’t believe it. We never thought such a thing could happen.”

Hunter admitted to suffocating his wife to death in their Paphos home in December 2021, when she was 74 at the time. He has always stated he did it to put an end to her suffering as she was terminally ill with blood cancer.

Though Hunter then attempted to kill himself by overdosing on medication, officers alerted of the developments by Interpol arrived at the scene. He has since been on trial for pre-meditated murder.

The final arguments to be put forth by the lawyers will be presented on June 22.


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