A retired British miner has been freed after a Cypriot judge sentenced him to two years in prison for the manslaughter of his seriously ill wife.
David Hunter, 76, admitted suffocating Janice, his wife of 52 years, at their home on the island, after she “begged him” to end her life as she suffered from blood cancer.
On Monday, judges at Paphos District Court imposed a two-year jail sentence on Hunter, who having already spent 19 months in custody has already served the majority of his sentence.
Hunter has been released from custody after Cypriot prison authorities officially calculated his release date, his legal team have said.
Michael Polak, the director of Justice Abroad, which is representing Hunter, said that in Cyprus a defendant will spend 10 months in custody for every year that they are jailed.
Judges previously found him not guilty of the more serious charge of premeditated murder.
Hunter’s legal team had argued he should be given a suspended sentence, in a case which is a legal first in the country.
In mitigation last week, his defence lawyer, Ritsa Pekri, said his motive was to “liberate his wife from all that she was going through due to her health conditions”.
The court heard it was Mrs Hunter’s “wish” to die and that her husband “had only feelings of love for her”.
Hunter, from Ashington, Northumberland, told his trial, which lasted for more than a year, that his wife “cried and begged” him to end her life.
He broke down in tears as he said he would “never in a million years” have taken Mrs Hunter’s life unless she had asked him to.
He showed the court how he held his hands over his wife’s mouth and nose and said he eventually decided to grant her wish after she became “hysterical”.
The court heard he then tried to kill himself by taking an overdose, but medics arrived in time to save him.