A Norwich woman whose father killed his terminally ill wife has said he is “not allowing himself to get his hopes up”.

David Hunter, 76, may be able to leave prison this week after being cleared of the more serious charge of premeditated murder.

The pensioner, from Northumberland, had been on trial for killing his spouse of 52 years, Janice, who died of asphyxiation at their home near the coastal resort town of Paphos in December 2021.

Hunter, who has been in custody for 19 months, told the court his wife “cried and begged” him to end her life as she suffered from blood cancer.

His legal team will be arguing he should be given a suspended sentence and that there is “no point in keeping him in prison any longer”.

The couple’s daughter Lesley Cawthorne, from Norwich, said the family was “apprehensive” ahead of the sentencing hearing which starts on Thursday (July 27) and is expected to last at least two days.

Eastern Daily Press: David Hunter's daughter Lesley Cawthorne, who lives in NorwichDavid Hunter's daughter Lesley Cawthorne, who lives in Norwich (Image: ITV)

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She said: “We are hoping for time served or a suspended sentence but are very aware that there’s a chance he’ll remain in custody. We’re not counting our chickens.”

Ms Cawthorne said her father had been “quietly relieved” since last week’s verdict, but was “not especially” hopeful about his sentence.

“He doesn’t want to allow himself to get his hopes up.

Eastern Daily Press: Janice and David HunterJanice and David Hunter (Image: PA)

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“He’s grateful that the judges seem to have understood what they went through and believe that he acted out of love.”

Michael Polak, director of Justice Abroad, said: “In this case, we are putting forward case law form across common law jurisdictions such as Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom given that no cases such as this have ever been dealt with in Cyprus.

“We will be submitting to the court that a suspended sentence is appropriate in this case, given the type of offence, David’s age, the fact that he has spent 19 months in custody, and his previous good character."