A Greek helicopter pilot has been punished with life imprisonment over killing his British-Greek wife and falsely claiming she died during a burglary.
Babis Anagnostopoulos was held guilty by the Athens court for murdering his wife, Caroline Crouch, in May 2021 as their 11-month-old daughter slept in the house.
He was also sentenced to strangling the couple’s dog as he tried to pretend that the family fell victim to a house invasion. The 34-year-old was sentenced to an additional ten years in prison for killing the animal.
In a case that prompted widespread public outrage, the Crouch’s family lawyer described the verdict as “fair”.
“It was a historic trial, as Caroline has now become a symbol in the struggle against violence targeting women.”
For six weeks, Anagnostopoulos had claimed that his 20-year-old wife was killed by ruthless burglars, who allegedly targeted their house on the outskirts of Athens.
The civil aviation pilot and flight instructor had initially told police that armed robbers broke into the house at night, binding and gagging him and his wife in their bedroom while the baby slept.
The incident shocked the nation and prompted authorities to announce a €300,000 reward for information about the alleged crime.
But amid CCTV evidence, Anagnostopoulos later abandoned his story and said that she had died following an altercation between the two over the infant’s care.
Prosecutors have maintained that he acted in a calm state of mind and intentionally suffocated Crouch while she was asleep.
Anagnostopoulos was arrested more than a month after Crouch’s death while attending a memorial service for her near her family home on the Aegean Sea island of Alonissos.