A retired miner who said he killed his seriously ill wife to end her suffering has visited her grave for the first time the day after being freed from prison in Cyprus.

British expat David Hunter was released from custody on Monday after a court sentenced him to two years in jail for the manslaughter of Janice, his spouse of 52 years.

Mrs Hunter died in December 2021 and was buried at a cemetery minutes from the couple’s home in Tremithousa – a small village near the coastal resort town of Paphos.

But Hunter, 76, has been unable to visit the grave because he was admitted to hospital immediately after Mrs Hunter’s death following a failed suicide attempt, and then taken into custody and prosecuted for murder.

The Northern Echo: David Hunter lays flowers at the grave of his wife Janice Hunter at a cemetery near their their

The pensioner spent 19 months in prison before being cleared of premeditated murder but was found guilty of manslaughter by a three-judge panel.

He was jailed for two years but allowed to walk free within 15 minutes of being sentenced at Paphos District Court on Monday due to time already served and good behaviour.

On Tuesday morning, he paid an emotional first visit to Mrs Hunter’s grave.

Hunter could not initially find the grave and was guided by Michael Polak of Justice Abroad, which represented him during his trial.

Carrying a bouquet of pink, purple and yellow flowers, the widower immediately knelt down by the grave and appeared to be silently shaking.

The Northern Echo: David Hunter lays flowers at the grave of his wife Janice Hunter at a cemetery near their their

Hunter stayed at the site for around half an hour.

The couple’s daughter, Lesley Cawthorne, previously said she believes that, rather than return to the UK, her father will initially choose to stay in Cyprus to be near Mrs Hunter’s grave and “say his goodbyes properly”.

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 as she suffered from blood cancer.

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”.

Judges heard he then tried to kill himself by taking an overdose but medics arrived in time to save him.