A Greek pilot who killed his British wife while she slept has also been charged with murdering her dog as part of an elaborate ruse to make it appear that she had been killed in a botched burglary, MailOnline can reveal.
Babis Anagnostopoulos, 33 will appear before an Athens court on Friday where he stands accused of murdering Caroline Crouch, 20 and two counts of perverting the course of justice.
Following legal wranglings, he has also specifically been charged with murdering her beloved five-month-old pup called Roxy, after initially being charged with animal cruelty.
The animal murder charge was made possible following a new law introduced last year that forbids their unlawful killing.
Friday’s trial will be the first time that the Greek legal system will hear a case of animal murder.
Evangelia Tsanopoulou, Roxy’s lawyer told MailOnline that she would argue for Anagnostopoulos to be given a maximum ten-year sentence for killing the puppy in addition to any sentence he may receive for the murder of his wife.
Babis Anagnostopoulos, 33 (R) will appear before an Athens court on Friday where he stands accused of murdering Caroline Crouch, 20 (L) and two counts of perverting the course of justice (the couple are pictured with their child, Lydia)
The counsellor said that Caroline realised she had made the wrong choice in marrying Anagnostopoulos and was looking for a way out of the relationship
After suffocating Caroline as she slept, Anagnostopoulos then smothered puppy Roxy (pictured) and hanged the pup’s lifeless body on the banister of their first floor flat in Athens. Anagnostopoulos is also being charged with animal murder – something made possible following a new law introduced last year that forbids their unlawful killing
Helicopter pilot Babis Anagnostopoulos escorted by police officers arrives to the prosecutor’s office at a court to give evidence, in Athens, Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Ms Tsanopoulou said: ‘It’s important that Roxy also gets justice. It was an atrocious crime because the dog was not simply murdered, he was first tortured and then murdered and went through horrendous last moments.
‘The dog was wearing his regular collar and was hung between the first and second floor which means that he choked to death and was severely tormented before breathing his last.’
Prosecutors claim that the murders were pre-meditated and that Anagnostopoulos also be given a life sentence for killing Caroline.
While he has admitted to the killing, he maintains that it was a ‘crime of passion’ after she threatened to divorce him. He insists that he killed Roxy after ‘panicking’ as he concocted a story on how she died.
After suffocating Caroline last May as she slept, Anagnostopoulos hanged Roxy from the bannister of their Athens home by his leash in an attempt to make his story more credible that burglars had burst in and murdered his wife and the pet she doted on.
Caroline’s body was discovered next to her then 11-month-old baby Lydia while Roxy’s hanging torso was the first thing horrified police officers saw when they stormed the house after Anagnostopoulos alerted them, claiming gun-wielding gangsters had made off with cash and jewellery.
Ms Tsanopoulou added: ‘This was a pre-meditated crime against Roxy. He (Anagnostopoulos) could have left the door open for the dog to leave, which it most certainly would have done. It shows his incredible apathy and lack of sentiment because he killed Caroline’s dog to try and achieve his goals.
‘He did this to a dog that was considered part of the family. Caroline loved Roxy, he was constantly by her side. Neighbours reported hearing his last cries. He pulled Roxy up and hung him like a piece of meat.’
The lawyer added: ‘There were two lives brutally lost in this horrendous crime; Caroline and the dog she adored.’
Roxy’s legal fees are being paid for by the Marathon Animal Association, which helps to re-home rescue animals and from where Caroline adopted the pooch in December 2020.
Her killing captured national and international attention as Anagnostopoulos, a helicopter pilot, kept up the pretence of the ‘grieving husband’ for more than a month and publicly spoke about the botched burglary story.
Prosecutors claim that the murders were pre-meditated and that Anagnostopoulos also be given a life sentence for killing Caroline
Caroline’s body was discovered next to her then 11-month-old baby Lydia while Roxy’s hanging torso was the first thing horrified police officers saw when they stormed the house after Anagnostopoulos alerted them, claiming gun-wielding gangsters had made off with cash and jewellery
Evangelia Tsanopoulou, Roxy’s lawyer told MailOnline that she would argue for Anagnostopoulos to be given a maximum ten-year sentence for killing the puppy in addition to any sentence he may receive for the murder of his wife
Anagnostopoulos, known as Babis, initially told investigators that his wife had been killed during a violent home invasion where armed burglars had tied him and Caroline up. Pictured: The couple with one-year-old daughter Lydia
He was picked up by police last June after attending his late wife’s memorial service on the island of Alonnisos where she grew up, and confessed to the crime a few days later.
Greek police arrested him after they found no trace of the gang, he claimed had tied him up, suffocated his wife and stolen €15,000 (£13,000) in cash plus jewellery.
They became suspicious when data collected from a fitness tracker on Caroline’s wrist showed her heart had stopped beating before the alleged break-in took place and data from other technical devices highlighted discrepancies.
On Friday, Anagnostopoulos will face what is known as a mixed jury trial which is made up of three full-time judges and four jurors who will be chosen from the public.
There will be nine prosecution witnesses, including Susan Dela Cuesta, Caroline’s mother; a therapist who Caroline was seeing with her husband; their former next-door neighbour; the coroner; three police officers and some childhood friends of Caroline.
Anagnostopoulos is relying on six witnesses, including his parents and some friends to help him prove his case that he acted in the ‘heat of the moment.’ He also claims that Caroline became more aggressive after suffering a miscarriage.
The Marathon Animal Welfare Association has called for its members to attend Friday’s hearing to protest outside the court and they are expected to be joined by campaigners against domestic violence.
The Association said in a statement: ‘Your presence is important as the court will try not only the murder of Caroline but also that of Roxy, who was adopted in December 2020 by the unfortunate girl, through our Association.
‘Let us remind everyone that the law against the killing of animals has been put into effect and no action will go unpunished. We ask for your support. Together we are stronger.’
Believing he had got away with the elaborate cover up, Babis even asked her parents to shell out £3,500 – about 4,000 Euros – for her coffin (pictured)
Police became suspicious when data collected from a fitness tracker on Caroline’s wrist showed her heart had stopped beating before the alleged break-in took place and data from other technical devices highlighted discrepancies
During a hearing last year where Anagnostopoulos appeared in court following his arrest, he said: ‘It all happened in a moment because of the tension that had preceded.
‘I walked up from the ground floor to the attic where Caroline was sleeping in order to convince her to sleep with our child.
‘We started a charged conversation and, as I hugged her, I leaned on her body and what happened, happened.’
After a bitter battle, Caroline’s parents won full custody over their slain daughter’s young child in October, as proceedings against Anagnostopoulos continued.
Lydia was formally put into the care of Susan and David Crouch on the Aegean island of Alonnisos where they live.
The hearing made the temporary sole custody ruling put in place in June a permanent arrangement, but the killer’s parents, Constantinos and Georgia, will have rights of access.
Mr and Mrs Anagnostopoulos looked after Lydia after her mother’s murder and they had wanted to keep her, but Mr and Mrs Crouch launched a legal bid for sole custody.
Mr Crouch, 78, from Liverpool, told MailOnline last year: ‘Susan and I have been granted full custody with the other grandparents allowed visitation rights five times a month.
‘It is now our intention to baptise Lydia into the Greek Orthodox Church, as was Caroline, in the little chapel close to the cemetery where Caroline was laid to rest.’
The retired engineer added: ‘Lydia is fine, and like her mother, grows more beautiful by the day.
‘She is now walking confidently, eats heartily and charms everyone she comes into contact with.
‘Unfortunately, although she has a fine new cot with the latest hi-tech mattress, she resolutely refuses to sleep alone.’