Love letters show devotion of pensioner accused of mercy killing wife

Love letters show devotion of pensioner accused of mercy killing wife

April 17, 2022

‘You have been my greatest treasure’: The tender love letters revealing the devotion of pensioner, 74, accused of wife’s mercy killing in Cyprus as his family call on prosecutors to ‘show some compassion’

  • David Hunter, 74, on trial today for the alleged mercy killing of wife Janice, 75
  • UK lawyers have written to Cyprus authorities asking for assisted suicide charge
  • Anniversary cards the couple wrote show David’s devotion and their mutual love
  • Ex-miner wrote: ‘When I look up and see you, my world is filled with pleasure’

Tender love letters have emerged that show the devotion of a British pensioner to the wife he is accused of murdering.

David Hunter, 74, is due to stand trial in Cyprus today after the alleged mercy killing of his terminally-ill wife of 56 years, Janice, 75, last year.

UK lawyers have written to the island’s attorney general asking prosecutors to reduce the charge to assisting suicide amid family pleas to ‘show some compassion’ but have received no reply.

Mr Hunter will die in prison if found guilty of murder.

David Hunter (right) poses on holiday with wife Janice (centre) and their daughter Lesley (left)

The Daily Mail has seen the last anniversary cards the couple wrote to each other months before Mrs Hunter’s death, in Paphos, on December 18.

They prove the family’s insistence Mr Hunter was deeply in love with his wife and would never do anything to harm her. 

On the envelope of his card, the retired miner wrote: ‘When I look up and see you, my world is filled with pleasure.

‘Through all the years we’ve shared, you have been my greatest treasure.’

Inside, another poem he penned reads: ‘I love you today as I have from the start, and I’ll love you forever with all of my heart.’ 

In a message to her husband, Mrs Hunter writes: ‘Another year for being with the best husband in the world. Love you forever, Janice xxx.’ 

Mrs Hunter had been suffering from leukaemia since 2016 and her health deteriorated rapidly in the months before her death.

She was losing her sight, couldn’t eat or drink and had constant diarrhoea that meant she needed nappies – but was only given paracetamol by doctors. 

Mr Hunter allegedly suffocated her before trying to take his own life by overdosing on sleeping medication in an apparent suicide pact.

Another moving letter from David to Janice says: ‘I love you today as I have from the start’

He has since told his daughter, Lesley, 49, that his wife made her wishes to die clear and talked about it every day in the last six weeks of her life.

‘To begin with, he tried to dissuade her, then he said he would go with her,’ she said. ‘He loved her so much… I’m horrified they were so desperate they thought that dying together was the only way out.’ 

Lesley, who works in financial advice, is appealing for the charge to be downgraded through UK-based law firm Justice Abroad.

The Cypriot parliament is discussing whether to legalise euthanasia, a taboo subject among the majority Greek Orthodox community of the island.

But even prison guards have taken pity on Mr Hunter – who retired to the island from Northumberland with his wife – and privately told his daughter that they believe he should not be facing murder charges.

It comes after Cypriot prosecutors charged a British woman with making up a rape claim there.

The 21-year-old went from victim to accused after police coerced a ‘confession’, but she was acquitted this year after pressure from the UK media.

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