CAROLINE Crouch’s murderous husband poked at her body and asked “Honey, are you okay?” when he lied to the police about his death.
Babis Anagnostopoulos, 34, was charged with murdering his 20-year-old wife in front of their little daughter before telling police she was killed in a fake robbery.
The British mother was found murdered in her home in Athens in the early hours of May 12, 2021.
Police handcuffed Anagnostopoulos to the ground near Caroline and had duct tape over her eyes and mouth.
The British-trained pilot continued his play, claiming the couple had been hit by an Albanian gang and claiming he was unaware of his wife’s death, a court heard.
After being released, the 34-year-old even pricked Caroline’s body and asked “Honey, are you okay?” »
Christos Varnikos, chief police officer for the investigation, said it became clear that the British-trained pilot was falsifying as soon as he was released.
He told the judges: “When the accused was released, he sat up on the bed and started touching the woman … he pushed towards her and asked ‘honey, are you okay?
“He made a few movements, he looked like he was in shock and asked me to give him the baby to hug. »
Earlier, Anagnostopoulos had told a court he “still loves” Caroline in an attempt to evade a charge of murder.
When the 34-year-old stood in the case for the first time when the hearing officially began in Athens, the 34-year-old insisted that it all happened ‘in the heat of the moment’ and claimed that he “still loves his wife”.
Asked if he accepted the charges he now faces, which include premeditated murder, he told the court with three members: “I was never going to hurt my wife. I loved him and still do.
“It has not changed and will never change since the day I met her.”
When the president of the court told him that the murder had taken place ‘in the heat of the moment’, as he claimed, he shot back: ‘That’s what I say, it was never deliberate, I got no benefit or profit from this situation’. law. »
The helicopter pilot has spent months preparing for the trial and signals he will attribute the blame for Crouch’s “narcissistic aggressive behavior”.
When the news of her defensive line reached the small crowd gathered outside the mixed lane, a young woman who described herself as a “Caroline supporter” exclaimed: “You see, a top player, just like the police said. ”
In May, Anagnostopoulos continued the show, cried for journalists, visited his wife’s grave with their daughter, Lydia, and comforted Caroline’s heartbroken parents.
Police became suspicious as his story began to unravel during an eight-hour interrogation before he was finally arrested on June 17 after apparently making a shock confession.
Since then, he has been detained in the high-security prison in Korydallos and arrived today in the court in Athens for the trial.
A total of fourteen prosecution witnesses are queuing to speak.
The first, police officer Kleanthis Antonopoulos, told the court that investigators who entered the house on May 11 from the start thought the pilot’s behavior was “strange”.
“What made the most impression on the investigators was Anagnostopoulos’ ‘coolness and lack of understanding of the situation’.
“It struck us [as odd] when he said he called [the police] by using his nose when tied with his hands in front of him. »
The policeman added: “He did not seem to understand what had happened. He looked like he was in shock.
“He was not crying when I told him his wife was dead and he asked if he could hold the baby.”
Antonopoulos added that the British trained pilot then shook the child “as if she were a doll” and said he “had never seen such a reaction”.
When another officer was called to the stand, he also described the defendant as “incredibly” calm.
“I have never seen such calm, such calm. He was at peace in a way I had never seen before,” he said.
Police were also hit as Anagnostopoulos showed almost no emotion when he saw the couple’s pet dog, Roxy, hanging from the railing.
The couple’s neighbor, Angeliki Gerolymatou, described the 34-year-old as a controlling husband who isolated his young wife and often left her alone for hours.
“Caroline was left in the house waiting for her husband to come so they could shop.
“She did nothing. Several times she told me she had no money on her.”
When asked if she thought the pilot was capable of murdering his wife, she replied, “No … the only thing that struck me was that every time we talked on the phone and his husband would come , she said, “I have to call. , I have to call. She was anxious. »
The trial was due to begin on Friday, but the case has been temporarily adjourned until today.
Last week, Anagnostopoulos was taken to Athens’ mixed jury building, where there was a large police presence due to the crowds gathered outside.
An officer told The Sun Online: “We had hoped to sneak it in earlier, but we did not know the media would be there then.”
When Anagnostopoulos gave his details to the court, he said he was “married and widowed”.
According to witnesses, he did not waver and looked at the prosecutor “straight in the eye, cold, without any expression” when his charges of premeditated murder, filing a false police report and killing the family dog were read out.
After apparently confessing to the police, the father later said he regretted his actions and would try to prove that the murder was not premeditated to avoid a life sentence.
He told police at the time: “I did not want to go to jail because I wanted to raise my daughter,” the 33-year-old reportedly told detectives.
Speaking to Sun Online ahead of the trial, Crouch’s family lawyer Thanassis Haramanis said: “The alleged perpetrator of this crime has already proven he will do anything to reduce his sentence.
“That is his goal and we will see it unfold in court. But we are convinced and optimistic that justice will be done. He cannot hide.”
Caroline was a Briton who grew up in Greece and started dating Anagnostopoulos when she was a teenager before marrying him.
Last May, Caroline was allegedly strangled in front of her 11-month-old daughter at her home in an exclusive suburb of Athens.
Police found Caroline’s lifeless body next to her crying daughter – who had not been injured – later that morning.
A police spokesman said they found Anagnostopoulos handcuffed to the ground near Caroline and had duct tape over her eyes and mouth.
The family’s livestock was also strangled in its own leash and left on a fence.
Anagnostopoulos told police how he “begged” the uninvited guests he said broke into the house so as not to harm his family.
He then allegedly staged an extensive messy robbery, placed baby Lydia next to his dead mother’s body, drowned the dog before hanging her body from the stairs and ransacked the house.
How to get help
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- Call 999 if you are in danger.
- Familiarize yourself with the silent solution, report abuse without talking on the phone by dialing “55” instead.
- Always have some cash with you, including change for a public telephone or a bus ticket.
- If you think your partner is attacking you, try going to a lower risk area of the house, such as where there is an exit and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you may be trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you may be locked inside a closet or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from [email protected]
Women’s Aid offers a live chat service – available weekdays 8-18 and weekends 10-18.
You can also call the free 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.