Babis Anagnostopoulos murdered Caroline Crouch as the couple’s 11-month-old daughter slept in the house
Babis Anagnostopoulos, 34, was today convicted of the murder of Caroline Crouch, 20, in May 2021 as the couple’s 11-month-old daughter slept in the house. The court earlier heard the child was found lying next to her mother’s lifeless body.
It is expected his sentencing with occur later on Monday.
The civil aviation pilot and flight instructor was also found guilty of trying to mislead police for weeks by claiming Crouch was murdered by armed intruders who had broken into their home.
He originally told police he was tied up by four robbers who put a gun to his child’s head, strangled his wife, and then got away with £10,000 in cash. But police found that examination of mobile devices, a smartwatch with a heart rate monitor used by Crouch, and cameras, had established a timeline that contradicted with the pilot’s testimony.
He also strangled the family dog, Roxy, in order to give weight to his narrative that the family had been victim to intruders demanding they be handed the family’s hidden valuables, an Athens court found.
The incident stirred up national outrage, prompting authorities to pledge a €300,000 (£254,000) reward for information about the crime.
The killer eventually abandoned the burglary story in favour of claiming his wife had died following an altercation between the pair over their daughter’s care. But prosecutors maintained that Anagnostopoulos intentionally suffocated her while she slept in their home.
He had previously admitted to killing his wife but denied premeditated murder, which carries a life sentence.
More than a month after his wife’s death, Anagnostopoulos was arrested after attending a memorial service for her near her family home on the Aegean Sea island of Alonissos. He was witnessed embracing Crouch’s mother before being led away.
Last week, the pilot told the court he had “no excuses” for killing his wife as he begged for forgiveness, the Daily Mail reported.
Anagnostopoulos reportedly told the trial in Athens 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.”
He added: “There are no excuses for what happened a year ago. Not to myself, not to anyone. What was lost a year ago is irreplaceable.
“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.”
Crouch’s diary entries read out in court last Tuesday claimed she told Anagnostopoulos that she wanted to end their relationship. It also revealed she wanted to leave her husband before she fell pregnant but did not want her daughter to grow up without both parents.
Crouch eventually told Anagnostopoulos that she wanted to end their relationship in July 2020, when their baby was a month old.
Reports from the trial last week suggested Anagnostopoulos broke down in tears as the court heard extracts from her diary detailing their turbulent relationship.
Discussing his daughter on Wednesday, Anagnostopoulos told the court: “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.”
The Daily Mail reported he went on to speak of his regret: “I’m not interested in my career or being cursed by a large number of people who have not met me, only that I will never see [Caroline] again.
“My absolute priority in everything was her happiness.”
He also said that despite “issues” in his relationship with Crouch “if I could turn back time, I’d choose Caroline again”.