David Hunter has been acquitted of murdering his terminally ill wife in Cyprus but found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Janice Hunter, 74, died of suffocation at the couple’s retirement home near Paphos in December 2021.
Hunter, a 75-year-old former coal miner from Northumberland, admitted murdering his wife but denied murder.
She told a Cypriot court that she had blood cancer and “begged” to end her life because she was in so much pain.
The couple’s daughter, Lesley Cawthorne, told Sky News: “I’m incredibly relieved that it’s a manslaughter rather than murder.
“It’s the best we could have hoped for in the circumstances and I really hope the judges can show some compassion and be lenient in their sentencing.”
Hunter had a confession. It is considered to have been obtained legally. and was allowed into evidence against him, despite opposition from the defence.
A plea deal to reduce the manslaughter charge also fell through last year after prosecutors refused to accept his claim that his wife asked him to kill him unless he provided evidence.
In May, Hunter broke down as he testified that he would “never in a million years” kill Janice unless she told him to.
“She wasn’t just my wife, she was my best friend,” he said.
He said he had covered his wife’s mouth and nose and complied with her request that she die after she was “mysterious”.
“For five or six weeks before she died she was asking me to help her. She was asking me more every day,” he said.
“For the last week she was crying and begging me. Every day she asked me to do it a little harder.”
A panel of three judges handed down the verdict in Paphos on Friday.
During the trial, a judge also denied a request to allow evidence from a psychologist who said Hunter was dissociative at the time of the incident.
The court found that Hunter was lucid and aware, evidenced by the fact that he took the pills and called his brother after killing his wife.
He will be sentenced on July 27.
His legal team said the manslaughter conviction meant he could get a suspended sentence and avoid jail.
“This is a tragic case,” said the campaign group Justice Abroad.
“Janice and David had a loving relationship for over 50 years and it is clear that David did what he did at her request out of love for Janice.
“We strongly believe that David’s further time in Nicosia prison would serve no proper purpose.”