A Greek helicopter pilot was convicted guilty of murder in Greece after confessing to killing his young British wife in front of their baby daughter and hanging their dog.
Babis Anagnostopoulos, 34, confessed in court that he killed Caroline Crouch out of rage, a brief lapse that occurred after a personal fight between the two. He now faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison, according to Greek legislation.
Babis initially claimed that three robbers rushed into their home north of Athens, tying him to a chair, stringing up their puppy from a railing, and killing his wife in front of their 11-month-old daughter, Lydia, but police had reservations about his claims and continued their investigation.
Babis, who was trained to fly helicopters in the UK, continued to lie for nearly a month, even giving a eulogy at her funeral, until police discovered proof that his testimony was fraudulent, based on data from his phone and Ms Crouch’s smartwatch, which highlighted contradictions in his account.
He was roaming around the house when he said he was trussed up by the alleged robbers, according to information from his phone.
Anagnostopoulos was arrested and charged with murder, perjury, and animal cruelty. He was found guilty of all charges and faces up to 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife, as well as a separate maximum 10-year term for the murder of the family dog.
He admitted to suffocating Ms Crouch, 20, but said he did it in a “hazy state of mind.”
During the trial, the prosecutor and judge both acknowledged the importance of technology in solving the crime.
“Thank goodness he didn’t think to take off her smartwatch, which provided us with useful information.” Evgenia Stathoulopoulou, a prosecutor, described it as “divine punishment.”
“If the crime had occurred 40 years ago, it would be unsolved,” Ms Crouch’s lawyer, Thanasis Harmanis, said.
The pair was seeing a therapist in the months leading up to the murder, the court heard during a six-week trial that finished Thursday, May 16.
Ms Crouch, who was born in Liverpool but raised on the Greek island of Alonissos, told the therapist that she was “suffocating” in her marriage.
She claimed that her husband, whom she had known since she was 15, had became narcissistic, domineering, and manipulative.
The court heard how Anagnostopoulos tried to “dazzle” her throughout their courtship by flying a helicopter over her school.
“She didn’t even have five euros on her.” “She couldn’t even get around on her own; she had to rely on a taxi driven by a Babis acquaintance,” therapist Eleni Mylonopoulou told the court.
“I was extremely clear in my suggestion that she should leave him,” Ms Mylonopoulou explained.
“I can’t tolerate it any longer,” Ms Crouch said at one point to Ms Mylonopoulou. ‘I’m going to die.’
Anagnostopoulos had a significant lack of empathy, according to a doctor who analyzed the case.
“Placing the infant on her mother’s body is a pretty barbarous act.” At this age, babies’ senses of smell and touch are heightened. “The fact that he killed the dog also shows a lack of empathy,” Alkisti Igoumenaki added.
His death of his young wife, who had become increasingly possessive of him, was done with “premeditation and preparation.”
“Premeditation does not imply a year of planning.” It might have happened in the previous five minutes. Premeditation occurs when a person thinks to themselves, “This is how I’m going to do it.”
“What we see in Caroline is a teenage girl who fell in love and then began to crave freedom. Caroline started maturing. She had a feeling of being imprisoned.”
It would have taken him at least five minutes to suffocate his wife to death, according to the court. It would have taken a long time for the seven-month-old puppy to die.
“He didn’t fire them with his rifle.” Ms Igoumenaki stated, “He could see people dying.”
Another prosecutor, Evi Kormikiari, said the dog’s death was unjustifiable.
“This is the first time I’ve ever seen an owner do something like this.” I’ve witnessed gunshots and stabbings, but nothing like this. “One of the most heinous ways to murder an animal is to hang it.”
“The defendant was aware that the dog was dying, but he was too preoccupied with the ‘robbery’ to notice.”
“There isn’t a single justification…
It’s impossible to replace what’s been gone. The defendant informed the judge, “Neither Caroline nor our dog deserved it.” “It’s impossible for me to say sorry enough times.”
I’ve been without Caroline since the day I lost her. I perished. God, please forgive me. “I’ll never be forgiven.”
He admits to hanging their two-story house’s pet dog, Roxy, from a banister.
Lydia, the couple’s daughter, is being raised on the Greek island of Alonissos by Miss Crouch’s British father and Filipina mother.