Greece: Chopper pilot sentenced to life in prison for murdering wife in UK

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ATHENS, Greece – A Greek helicopter pilot was sentenced Monday to life in prison for trying to confuse police for weeks after he allegedly killed his British-Greek wife at their home on the outskirts of Athens and was killed by intruders in a brutal home invasion.

An Athens court has convicted 34-year-old Babis Anagnostopoulos of murdering Caroline Crouch, 20, in May 2021 while the couple’s 11-month-old daughter was sleeping at home. He was also convicted of suffocating the couple’s dog to death to believe the description that the family had been the victims of ruthless thieves demanding the transfer of hidden valuables.

The court sentenced Anagnostopoulos to an additional 10 years in prison for killing a dog.

Attorney Thanasis Harmanis, who represented Crouch’s family at the trial, described the verdict as “fair.”

“It was a historic trial, because Caroline has now become a symbol of the fight against violence against women,” Harmanis said. “Defendant was not allowed to continue the fraud which he maintained for 37 days (before his arrest) … and during this trial.”

After leaving the scene of the house attack, Anagnostopoulos claimed that Crouch had died as a result of a quarrel between the couple over child care. Prosecutors maintained that he acted calmly and intentionally suffocated him while he was asleep.

The civil aviation pilot and flight instructor initially told police that armed robbers entered the house at night, tied the child and his wife to their bedroom while they were asleep, and strangled them. The incident shocked the nation and prompted authorities to announce a 300,000-euro ($ 365,000) reward for information leading to the crime.

Police said that analyzing the data from a smartwatch worn by Crouch helped to reveal inconsistencies in the details of the pilot’s incident.

Anagnostopoulos was arrested more than a month after Crouch’s death after attending a memorial service for him near his family home on the Aegean Sea island of Alonso. Victim’s mother was seen hugging him before taking him away.

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