Wearing a bulletproof vest and his handcuffed hands on his back, Babis Anagnostopoulos crossed the door of the Mixed Jury Court of Athens short before 8:30 Friday morning. The trial for the murder of his 20-year-old wife Caroline Crouch, a UK national, started almost a year after the heinous murder of the young mother and mother of his minor daughter Lydia begins today.
As he walked from the police vehicle to court, a bystander shouted at him “Get a life sentence to calm down.”
Anagnostopoulos murdered his sleeping wife Caroline in the early morning hours of May 11, 2021, in their home in Glyka Nera, eastern Attica, and staged a scenery claiming a robbery. He placed the couple’s 11-month-old baby next to Caroline’s body and tied his hands with a rope, after he put a tape on his mouth.
Furthermore, he brutally killed the family’s pet dog.
For one month, the 33-year-old pilot was pretending to be “husband in deep sorrow” thus misleading authorities who were trying to solve the case. Police investigation showed gaps in his testimony and findings on the murder scene pointed out at him as the perpetrator.
On June 17, 2021, officers from the General Police Directorate of Attica flew to the island of Alonissos, where Caroline’s parents have been living and arrested Babis right after the memorial service for the victim. At the time of his arrest, Babis was “crying” in the arms of his mother-in-law.
He was transferred to Athens and confessed to the murder six hours later. However, he claimed that he was attacked by Caroline with whom he had an argument and he killed her in self-defense.
Evidence such as the victim’s sports watch proved that the woman was sleeping when she was suffocated to death by her husband.
Babis is charged with premeditated murder committed in a calm state of mind and animal abuse as well as for false accusations (for he blamed others for the crime) and false testimony to authorities.
He faces life imprisonment for the murder and up to ten years for the dog abuse and up to 3 years and up 12 months for the other two offenses respectively.
Media report that according to the prosecutor’s reference proposal, the now 34-year-old Babis is a “tough personality with lacking sensitivity” who had isolated his 20-year-old wife, even controlling her movements. The victim experienced her relationship with the man who charmed her a few years earlier “as confinement.”
According to the judges “the five-minute duration of the victim’s suffocation, the pre-arrangement to shutdown of the home security camera, the catching by surprise of the unsuspected victim, the staging of the scene as robbery and the premeditated attempt to mislead authorities state that the defendant was in a completely calm mental state.”
Babis’ defense line will claim that he was challenged by Caroline and that the crime was committed in hot blood.
Trial first day
Αt the court room on Friday, Babis Anagnostopoulos cynically stated his marital status as “married and widower.”
Caroline’s parents were not present as the father has mobility problems and doctors advised the mother to refrain from attending the trial to avoid have her health shaken.
Father, David Crouch, told UK’s daily mail that he will not attend the trail but watch the news on TV together with his granddaughter Lydia.
“I wish I could hold this weasel in my arms,” the 78-year-old retired engineer told UK’s daily.
Caroline ‘s parents, British expats who live on the island of Alonissos, have the custody of granddaughter Lydia.
On the first day of the trial, the court proceeded with the selection of the jurors – two men and two women. All three judges are women.
The court also accepted the request of the Marathon Animal Welfare Association to appear as a civil lawsuit for the killing of Caroline’s adopted dog.
It also accepted the Babis lawyer’s request and the trial was adjourned until next Tuesday, April 12.