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24 June, 2024
 
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76-year-old released after 2-year jail sentence in wife's death

Paphos criminal court emphasizes zero tolerance for taking human life, despite motives, in landmark case

Newsroom / CNA

The Paphos criminal court handed down a 2-year jail sentence to 76-year-old David Hunter on Monday. Hunter had been previously found guilty of manslaughter, not premeditated murder, in the death of his wife, Janice, on December 18, 2021, at their home in Tremithousa. Despite the sentencing, Hunter was immediately released as the Prison Department determined that he had already served his sentence while in custody since the day of his wife's murder.

President of the Paphos Criminal Court, Michalis Droussiotis, emphasized that while many people face life's difficulties and the challenges of serious health issues, taking a human life remains an unlawful act that society cannot tolerate. He stated that even if motivated by love and a desire to relieve suffering, ending a person's life unlawfully is unacceptable, regardless of the victim's own wishes for redemption.

Moreover, Droussiotis underscored the significance of law and morality in creating a just society. He stated that no individual has the authority to decide when to end someone's life, even if it is a loved one enduring health-related torment.

Regarding the defendant, the President of the Criminal Court acknowledged his clean criminal record, advanced age, personal circumstances, and the specific conditions surrounding the crime, as well as the motives behind the "outrageous behavior."

Despite considering these factors, the Court's judgment maintained that the two-year sentence was not sufficient to overshadow the necessity of sending a strong message against the taking of human life, even under the mentioned special circumstances. Consequently, the court ruled for the immediate execution of the sentence to reinforce the message that such acts cannot be tolerated.

However, the Court clarified that the immediate execution of the sentence does not strip the 76-year-old man of the possibility to look forward to soon leaving prison and continuing his life with the support of his family, albeit with the burden of his own wrongful actions in connection to the tragic loss of his wife.

During the trial, the Prosecution was represented by Attorney Andreas Hadjikyrou, while the defense lawyers Ritsa Pekri and Nikoletta Charalambidou represented the accused.

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Cyprus  |  mercy-killing  |  crime

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