Pilot says he ‘still loves’ British woman in murder trial, he admits killing her in her sleep

Greek pilot Babis Anagnostopoulos, 33, initially claimed that a gang of foreign robbers killed British-born Caroline Crouch and hung her dog from the railing after she stormed her home in Athens in May last year

Babis Anagnostopoulos with his murdered British wife Caroline Crouch
Babis Anagnostopoulos with his British wife Caroline Crouch

A Greek pilot who has confessed to killing his British wife has said in court on the first day of his murder trial “he still loves her”.

Babis Anagnostopoulos initially claimed that a gang of foreign robbers killed Caroline Crouch and hung the family dog, Roxy, from the railing after she stormed her home in Athens in May last year.

Ms Crouch, 23, was found dead with the couple’s young daughter beside her before police discovered Anagnostopoulos tied under the bed.

The Greek police initially launched a manhunt for the robbers, but soon turned their attention to Anagnostopoulos due to contradictions in his story and he was eventually arrested.

He then confessed to killing his wife – in front of their 11-month-old daughter. The pilot admitted to the murder but claims it was a “crime of passion” after threatening divorce.

On the first day of his trial in Athens today, he told the judges: “I loved her and I still love her. That will never change.”

He added: “It was never my goal to hurt my wife. I loved her and I love her.

Anagnostopoulos is escorted by armed police officers


Intimate Messages/Athena Pictures)

“That has never changed and since the day I met her, it will never change.”

The pilot faces a long prison sentence for first degree murder, cruelty to animals and lying to the police to implicate others.

He insists the crime was not planned or premeditated, but happened while he was in a “fuzzy state of mind.”

He says he killed her after an argument in which she threatened divorce because she suspected he was having an affair.

The jury also heard a harrowing and sickening account from the coroner, who examined Ms Croucher’s body as she lay lifeless on the couple’s bed.

Chara Spiliopoulou described how the British student died over the course of five agonizing minutes after being attacked while asleep in bed.

Ms Spiliopoulou said it was clear the victim was terrified at the time of the attack.

She told the court, “There was no sign of a struggle to the death because she was taken by surprise.”

The coroner said there was no evidence Ms Crouch fought before her death


Babis Anagnostopoulos/Instagram)

Anagnostopoulos does not deny killing his wife but does deny the murder


Babis Anagnostopoulos/Instagram)

The 33-year-old pilot used his bare hands to end his wife’s life by cutting off her airway, but also used a pillow to block any noise, Ms Spiliopoulou claimed.

“The image I had was someone put their hand in their mouth and then the pillow was used so nothing could be heard,” she told the court, explaining that Crouch’s heart rate skyrocketed during the attack may be.

“I estimate the death took about five minutes…she was tortured.”

The coroner went on to speak about the horrifying sights and smells that lingered at the Athens duplex after Anagnostopoulos allegedly hung the couple’s dog on the railing to make the robbery more realistic.

When police arrived, the only person not tied up was the couple’s daughter, who lay silently by her mother’s side.

Anagnostopoulos was a pilot


Babis Anagnostopoulos/Instagram)

The long-awaited trial comes ten months after Anagnostopoulos admitted killing his wife on May 11, 2021.

For nearly six weeks, he tried to convince police that a gang of foreign criminals had murdered 21-year-old Crouch, who was enrolled at a local university, during a botched break-in at the couple’s suburban home.

The pilot put on a show from the start, according to police officers who were first to arrive at the scene.

When the 33-year-old was found lying under the bed with his feet and hands tied and tape covering his mouth and eyes, he immediately started acting strangely, police said this morning.

Today’s trial takes place 10 months after the murder of Mrs. Crouch


Intimate Messages/Athena Pictures)

“When the accused was untied, he sat on the bed and started touching the woman,” police officer Christos Varnikos said. “He shook her and asked my love are you alright?”

Kleanthis Antonopoulos said he had never seen a victim behave so strangely in 20 years of police service.

“He was just so incredibly cool,” he said in court.

“It was like his wife hadn’t died. We were together for three to four hours and not once did he say, ‘What happened to me, I lost my wife.’ It’s the first time I’ve seen a victim this cool in 20 years.”

Anagnostopoulos’ defense revolves around the fact that the murder happened in the heat of the moment.

Ms Crouch was killed in front of the couple’s 11-month-old daughter


Intimate Messages/Athena Pictures)

Crouch’s family lawyer told the Daily Mirror last week: “He will do everything to convince the court that her death was not premeditated so that he can have his sentence reduced.

“But on our side there is optimism that justice will be done. He also faces a long prison sentence for killing Caroline’s puppies.”

Under a new law passed in Greece last year, Anagnostopoulos, who also admitted to hanging the family dog, Roxy, by its leash on the masionette’s railing, could face up to 10 years in prison for unprovoked animal cruelty.

Almost a year later, the pilot shows no remorse for a murder that sent shockwaves through Greece and abroad.

When asked about his status by a court official Friday, he coolly described himself as “married and widowed.” His lawyers say they even called defense witnesses to testify to “his good character.”

“People of [the couple’s] a wider social circle will witness it,” said Papaioannides.

Angeliki Gerolymatou was also among the witnesses summoned on Tuesday.

Holding back tears, she described how the young Brit was left alone by her husband, isolated in the suburban maisonette, often without enough money to go to the supermarket

“She was locked in that house for days… he was very controlling,” said Gerolymatou, who lived in the duplex next door and whose family initially comforted the pilot when they believed he was a truly grieving widow.

“She definitely felt a bit cut off from her friends. She had told me about her desire to go out for a drink with a friend. Caroline didn’t go out much…it was only once that often.”

Ms Crouch, the daughter of a retired oil manager who grew up on the Greek island of Alonissos, met the older pilot when she was a teenager and is now buried on the island where she grew up.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/pilot-tells-murder-trial-still-26697751 Pilot says he 'still loves' British woman in murder trial, he admits killing her in her sleep

Fry Electronics Team

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