Greek helicopter pilot Babis Anagnostopoulos has been jailed for the murder of his British wife and strangling the family dog in an attempt to cover up the brutal killing at their home near Athens.
34-year-old Greek helicopter pilot, Babis Anagnostopoulos has been convicted and sentenced for murdering his 20-year-old wife, Caroline Crouch at their home near Athens on May 20, 2021. The court heard how their 11-month-old daughter was found lying next to the lifeless body of her mother.
The flight instructor and civil aviation pilot was also found guilty of trying to mislead police for weeks, after claiming his wife was killed by armed intruders who had broken into their home.
Anagnostopoulos initially told authorities that four intruders had tied him up, strangled his wife, put a gun to the head of his child, and then got away with £10,000 in cash.
The pilot even strangled the family dog, Roxy, in an effort to add credibility to his narrative that the family had been victim to robbers on the search for hidden valuables in the home, a court in Athens heard.
The incident caused outrage across the country, with authorities offering a €300,000 (£254,000) reward for information relating to the crime.
The murderer eventually gave up on the story of the burglary and tried to claim that his wife had died following an altercation between the pair over their daughter's care. Prosecutors didn't accept this and maintained that the 34-year-old pilot suffocated his wife while she slept in their home.
Anagnostopoulos had previously admitted to killing his wife but denied premeditated murder, a crime that carries a sentence of life in prison.
Over a month after the death of Caroline Crouch, Anagnostopoulos was arrested after attending a memorial service for her near her family home on the Aegean Sea island of Alonissos. He was photographed embracing the mother of his dead wife before being escorted away by police.
Last week, the murderer begged the court for forgiveness, stating he had "no excuses" for killing Crouch.
When speaking to the court in Athens, Anagnostopoulos said he would recount "exactly what happened in every detail and honestly. It will not be an excuse, I am not trying to rationalise anything from that day."
"There are no excuses for what happened a year ago. Not to myself, not to anyone. What was lost a year ago is irreplaceable," he added.
"She didn't deserve what happened, our dog didn't deserve it or anyone else. The word 'sorry' is not enough. No matter how many times I tell her now that I'm sorry she won't enjoy her life."
Segments of a diary kept by Caroline Crouch were read out in court last week, revealing that the 20-year-old wanted to leave her husband before she fell pregnant but did not want her daughter to grow up without both parents.
In July 2020, when their daughter was a month old, Ms Crouch told Anagnostopoulos that she wanted their relationship to finish.
Mr Anagnostopoulos broke down in tears when he listened to the diary entries about their turbulent relationship being readout.
Anagnostopoulos spoke of his daughter in court on Wednesday, last week, saying: "No matter how many times I say sorry to our child for not growing up next to her mother or to my mother-in-law for trusting me, it makes no difference. There are no words."
Babis Anagnostopoulos has been jailed for 27 and a half years.