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British pensioner's murder trial resumes in Cyprus

The trial of a British pensioner accused of murdering his ill wife has resumed in Cyprus.

Janice Hunter, who was 74 and had cancer, died in December 2021 at home near Paphos.

Lawyers for her 75-year-old husband David, a retired Northumberland miner, say her death was assisted suicide after she begged him to end her life.

Mr Hunter has admitted killing his wife but a plea deal on a lesser charge of manslaughter collapsed in December.

At the latest hearing, the court in Paphos was told Mr Hunter contacted his brother through Facebook to say he had killed Janice and tried to take his own life at their home in Tremithousa.

Cypriot police officer Chrysanthi Andreou said her force was alerted by Interpol in the UK shortly before 20:00 GMT on 18 December 2021.

The alert was described as urgent, calling on Cypriot authorities to take immediate action.

Police arrived at the couple's retirement property and Mr Hunter was taken to hospital for treatment before being arrested.

The court also heard from Dr Andreas Pantelides who said lab tests were consistent with the autopsy report which had found Mrs Hunter had leukaemia.

Prosecutors asked whether she may have suffered from a type of blood cancer called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

Dr Pantelides explained around 45% of people with MDS can develop leukaemia but that the only way to have a conclusive answer about what cancer she suffered from would be through bone marrow samples.

As such, Mrs Hunter may have suffered from MDS, leukaemia or both, he said.

The doctor also told the court the lab tests were not able to confirm whether she died by asphyxiation - which is how Mr Hunter said he killed his wife.

Michael Polak, of Justice Abroad which is part of Mr Hunter's defence team, said "the evidence today was not particularly controversial".

Mrs Hunter's doctor is expected to give evidence on Tuesday as prosecutors look to examine whether her illness was terminal.

The couple moved from Ashington to Paphos 20 years ago.

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