Major update as ‘mercy killer’ grandad’s ‘confession to smothering dying wife’ CAN be used as evidence in murder trial | The Sun
A BRITISH grandad's 'confession' can now be used as evidence in his horror 'mercy killing' trial.
A court in Cyprus has ruled that the confession of a Northumberland man was obtained lawfully and can be used as evidence against him.
David Hunter, 75, is on trial for premeditated murder after a plea deal on the charge of manslaughter collapsed.
Hunter's wife Janice, 74, died of asphyxiation in December 2021 at the couple's retirement home near the coastal resort town of Paphos.
The grandad has now been locked up for more than a year in Cyprus after he was accused of murdering his cancer-stricken wife in a brutal "mercy killing".
Hunter allegedly told Cypriot cops he'd covered wife Janice's mouth and nose as she sat in her armchair as he "didn't want to see her suffer".
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But says he only agreed to do it after she “begged me for weeks” to end her excruciating pain from advanced leukaemia.
"I would never have hurt her," he said. "She wasn't just my wife, she was my best friend."
The pensioner's defence team had argued that this confession should not be used as evidence in the trial, however.
They claimed he was not provided with his right to a lawyer or to remain silent before statements were taken from him when he was arrested on suspicion of the killing.
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They had previously called a forensic psychiatrist to give evidence, who said that Hunter was suffering from dissociation at the time.
Due to the alleged disorder, Hunter's lawyers pushed for the statements made to medical professionals to not be used against him in the murder trial.
On Tuesday, a judge at Paphos District Court dismissed the defence's application and ruled that Hunter's statement would be used in his trial.
The court found that Hunter was aware of what was happening at the time, after he took pills and called his brother following the sick killing.
Michael Polak, of Justice Abroad, the group representing Hunter, said the retired miner is "shocked and dejected" at the decision.
"We called a forensic psychiatrist to give evidence and his evidence was totally rejected by the court," Mr Polak said.
"With regards to the right to a lawyer, European human rights law would require David to provide an unequivocal waiver of his right to a lawyer, and in this case there hasn't been one."
His defence has said Hunter was acting on the wishes of his wife, who was reportedly terminally ill with blood cancer.
An agreement between prosecution and defence to reduce the murder charge to manslaughter collapsed late last year.
This was after prosecutors refused to accept Hunter's claim that his wife asked him to end her life – unless he provided proof.
State prosecutor Andreas Hadjikyrou told reporters: "If we accept this, every other man in the future who kills a woman will say 'we had an agreement'."
The trial continues.
In January he gave a verbal confession to the killing – describing the moment he suffocated Janice as "like being in a dream" and admitted to using his bare hands to smother his wife.
After repeated postponements of his trial, Hunter is now languishing in a high-security and hellish prison with 12 men to a cell.
He said he has lost weight dramatically – more than three stone – because the food is so grim he can hardly swallow any.
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Hunter told The Sun from court: “It’s hard to eat when you don’t like the food.
And he added: “It’s very deflating all this waiting and I take every day at a time.”
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