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Greek helicopter pilot given life sentence for murdering British wife

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By AP  with Euronews
Babis Anagnostopoulos confessed to murdering his young British-Greek wife Caroline Crouch.
Babis Anagnostopoulos confessed to murdering his young British-Greek wife Caroline Crouch.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis

A Greek helicopter pilot has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his British-Greek wife and falsely claiming she died during a burglary.

An Athens court found Babis Anagnostopoulos guilty of murdering Caroline Crouch in May 2021 as the couple’s 11-month-old daughter slept in the house.

He was also convicted of 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 10 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,” Harmanis said.

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.