A Greek pilot who killed his British wife in front of their nine-month-old daughter has dropped his appeal against his life sentence for her murder, according to reports.
Charalambos Babis Anagnostopoulos brutally killed Caroline Crouch, 19, by smothering her with a pillow at their home in Athens two years ago before trying to claim she was murdered by burglars.
However, in May 2022 he was convicted of her murder and sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison – meaning he would be eligible for release in his 50s.
The 35-year-old sparked fury among Caroline’s family when he announced he would appeal the ruling, claiming he harmed his wife after fearing she would hurt their daughter.
But it has now dramatically been reported he is dropping his appeal, although her father has revealed he’s struggling to take the announcement ‘at face value’.
Caroline Crouch (left) was brutally murdered by her husband Charalambos Babis Anagnostopoulos (right) in front of their nine-month-old daughter (centre)
The Greek pilot, pictured here outside the Athens Court of Appeal in May, has dropped his appeal against his life sentence
Since the start of his appeal in February 2023, multiple dates have been postponed due to the defendant’s lawyer being unavailable or the convict claiming he is ‘ill’.
One such delay at the end of May sparked the Crouch family’s lawyer to accuse the pilot of ‘play acting’, while her father called it ‘a farce’.
On Wednesday Anagnostopoulos’s lawyer, Alexandros Papaioannidis, confirmed the appeal was no longer going ahead, The Guardian reports.
He said: ‘My client has decided for extremely serious reasons, which cannot be announced, to waive all legal means, specifically the appeal he filed against the judgment of the mixed jury court in Athens.’
He added: ‘I will today proceed with all the [requisite] procedures… so that the trial at a secondary level does not continue.’
The news was met with relief by Caroline’s father, David, a retired oil executive who raised her on Alonissos after moving to Greece with her Philippine-born mother, Susana.
He told The Guardian, he said he was ‘astounded’ by the decision but that if true it was ‘wonderful news for my family and me’.
But he told The Sun: ‘I am reluctant to take this announcement at face value knowing what a duplicitous b****** Anagnostopoulos is.
‘I can’t believe that he is prepared to drop his appeal and calmly return to prison to serve out his life sentence plus eleven and a half years, he is not that kind of person.’
Anagnostopoulos had created a web of lies after murdering his wife, claiming burglars had killed Caroline after breaking into their upmarket apartment in a suburb of the Greek capital.
The state coroner has said that Crouch would have suffered ‘a long and agonising death’.
She was pinned down by the pilot in the couple’s Athens maisonette, resisting as she attempted to fight back as he suffocated her for five minutes with a pillow.
He even callously killed the couple’s dog, Roxy, to make the story more realistic before smothering Caroline in her sleep and then tying himself up.
Detectives cracked the case after noticing data on fitness apps on Caroline’s smart watch didn’t tally with his story and he was held after crying crocodile tears at his wife’s funeral on the island of Alonissos.
Babis Anagnostopoulos (left) is pictured with Caroline Crouch (right). He strangled her to death at their rented maisonette in Athens in May 2021
Anagnostopoulos told the court that he regretted what he did. Pictured in Athens on May 8
Anagnostopoulos was found guilty of the pre-meditated murder of his wife and sentenced to 27 and a half years in prison in 2022 for the crime.
This included a jail term of 11 years and six months for the killing of Roxy, as well as a 21,000 euro fine (£18,316).
For the murder of his wife, he received a life sentence.
After the sentencing was passed, his lawyer said the outcome was ‘expected’.
But Agnostopoulos has sought to reduce the sentence on the basis that, he claimed, the killing was not premeditated.
Speaking in February, Mr Crouch had branded Agnostopoulos as ‘despicable’ for trying to get his sentence reduced.
‘The crime committed by the murderer, that of femicide, is a heinous crime that should deserve particularly severe punishment,’ he said.
‘In my opinion, men who kill their wives, for whatever reason, are the lowest of the low, ranking alongside paedophiles.’
Agnostopoulos called his parents and another four witnesses to take the stand in his defence during an appeal hearing in early May.
Defence lawyer Alexandros Papaioannides said beforehand: ‘There are going to be quite a lot of new witnesses and documents that will contain elements that will help reverse this case.
‘I think there will be a more correct assessment [by the court] of the circumstances that prevailed that day in regards to the crime he committed and whether it was committed in the heat of the moment.’
After his imprisonment custody of the couple’s daughter, Lydia, who is now three year’s old, was given to Susana, who took her to the Manila in the Phillippines.