Murdered Caroline Crouch’s father has blasted his daughter’s killer and said he would be ‘honoured to execute him’ if the death penalty still existed in Greece.
Heartbroken David Crouch, 79, spoke out ahead of self-pitying Babis Anagnostopoulos appeal against his 27-year sentence for murdering Caroline, 19, at their Greek home in May 2021.
He will argue he killed her because he ‘was worried she would hurt’ their then nine-month daughter Lydia and his jail term should be cut for mitigating circumstances.
Anagnostopoulos, 35, was sentenced last year after strangling Caroline at the couple’s home in an upmarket suburb of Athens. He then lied to police saying she had been killed ‘by burglars’ before his tissue of lies fell apart.
According to his Anagnostopoulos legal team, his shameless appeal will argue that he didn’t mean to murder Caroline and he reacted during a row because he was scared she would hurt Lydia.
Heartbroken David Crouch, 79, has spoken out ahead of self-pitying Babis Anagnostopoulos (right) appeal against his 27-year sentence for murdering Caroline (left), 19, at their home in Athens in May 2021. Anagnostopoulos is set to argue that he killed his young wife because he ‘was worried she would hurt’ their then nine-month daughter Lydia (centre)
Anagnostopoulos (pictured in May last year being escorted by police), 35, was sentenced last year after strangling Caroline at the couple’s home in an upmarket suburb of Athens. He then lied to police saying she had been killed ‘by burglars’ before his tissue of lies fell apart
Led by new lawyer Alexandros Papaioannidis – who Anagnostopoulos fired last year but has now rehired – they will argue he deserves a more lenient sentence.
It is understood they will say he has been a ‘model prisoner and helped other inmates’ while serving his time at Korydallos prison.
But in a furious attack Mr Crouch described him as a ‘weasly b**tard’ and said: ‘If the death penalty was still available here (in Greece), I would take it as an honour to be allowed to pull the handle to send him to oblivion.
‘I hate him more than I have ever hated anything in my life. May he rot in hell.’
Speaking ahead of the appeal Mr Papaioannidis told MailOnline: ‘Not a day goes by without my client regretting what happened but what he wants and what we want for him is justice. He does not deny what happened but we are asking for the sentence to be reduced.
‘Every day he is in prison he is thinking about what happened and how much he hates himself, his only thoughts are for his daughter.
‘All he wants is a fair trial and for the mitigating circumstances of what happened at the time of Caroline’s death are taken into account.
‘He is not a narcissist and he accepts the courts decisions, since his conviction he has been a model prisoner in jail and helps out with other inmates and has been very well behaved and we will explain all this in court.’
He also hit back at suggestions from Caroline’s father that Anagnostopoulos, a helicopter pilot, had killed Caroline because she had found out he was a drugs runner.
Mr Papaioannidis said: ‘No evidence of this claim emerged during the trial and no evidence was found in the investigation and he has never been prosecuted for similar crimes. He has an unblemished 11 year career as a helicopter pilot. We respect the grief of Caroline’s father but deny this claims categorically.’
But Mr Crouch has painted a very different picture of his late daughter’s husband, saying that since her death, he and his wife Susana have learned Anagnostopoulos was controlling her finances and movements.
‘In order to give you some idea of what my daughter’s killer is like let me tell you what Susana and I found out about the way he treated Caroline,’ Mr Crouch said.
‘When Caroline first left home in order to attend Piraeus University, Susana and I each gave her a monthly allowance of €750 for food, rent etc. Within a year she had married and had stopped attending classes and was living with her husband.
‘As I had few other commitments, I continued to give her a monthly allowance of €750 and Susana reduced her contribution from €750 to €250 per month.
Led by new lawyer Alexandros Papaioannidis – who Anagnostopoulos fired last year but has now rehired – they will argue he deserves a more lenient sentence for the murder of his wife
Speaking to the MailOnline, Mr Crouch has painted a very different picture of his late daughter’s husband to that being pushed by his lawyer, saying that since her death, he and his wife Susana have learned Anagnostopoulos was controlling her finances and movements
‘We did this because we felt that it would be nice if Caroline could have a certain amount of independence from her husband and not keep having to ask him for money to buy clothes and other personal items.
‘We found out after her death money Susana and I had been paying into Caroline’s bank account each month had been appropriated by her husband and that any time she needed money to buy a coffee or to buy food for her pets she would have to ask her husband for this money,’ her father said.
‘All of the domestic shopping was controlled by him, they always shopped together, and she was never allowed to shop alone.
‘Occasionally she was allowed to meet a friend for coffee, but he ensured that she would travel to the rendezvous in a taxi driven by his friend and paid for in advance by him. When it was time to come home she was required to telephone him so that he could come and pick her up,’ Mr Crouch said.
‘It is a mystery to me how she tolerated this arrangement. Caroline had always been a strong-willed girl with fixed ideas and would never allow herself to be bullied.’
Conniving Anagnostopoulos cruelly strangled Caroline and then covered up her death for six weeks – insisting she had been murdered by burglars who had even strangled their pet dog Roxy.
But dogged detective work revealed his lies after it emerged details on Caroline’s smartwatch didn’t tally with what her devious husband told Greek police and he was arrested after flying to the island of Alonnisos for his wife’s funeral.
Mr Crouch added: ‘After my daughter’s death, Susana and Caroline’s husband accompanied her body back to Alonnisos for the funeral and I had never seen a man so broken by grief.
‘Although I was completely devastated by my daughter’s death I realised that his grief was even greater than mine, something that I didn’t think was possible.
‘We held hands in my house, tears streaming down both our faces, completely inconsolable. After the funeral he returned to Athens with his parents and Lydia.’
But Liverpool born Mr Crouch, a retired engineer, soon began to have suspicions about his son-in-law.
He told MailOnline: ‘In the intervening period between the funeral and Caroline’s memorial service, occasional disquieting thoughts would occur to me.
‘It struck me that there was something odd about the whole affair, just little things that didn’t make sense. Why would the robbers kill my daughter before leaving after they had taken all the valuables and money in the house.
‘How did they know about the internal CCTV system and how were they sufficiently switched on to think about removing the memory card from the system.
‘I next saw Caroline’s husband on the morning of Caroline’s memorial service. He was still depressed, a picture of misery, but he embraced me and again the tears began to flow down his face, his voice choked with emotion.
‘He told me that he had brought me a present and unwrapped a huge framed photograph of him and Caroline taken at their wedding in Portugal.
‘I was very moved by this kind gift which he knew was my favourite picture. I then noticed that he was wearing the expensive Rolex watch of which he was so proud.
‘He subsequently sold this watch to a dealer for about €7,500. I then knew that either the robbery had been committed by complete incompetents or there was something very wrong with his story.
Conniving Anagnostopoulos (pictured in May 2021 outside the couple’s Athens home) cruelly strangled Caroline and then covered up her death for six weeks – insisting she had been murdered by burglars who had even strangled their pet dog Roxy
‘The picture became much clearer an hour later when two large policemen led him away from the cemetery towards a waiting helicopter, ostensibly to identify a suspect who had been arrested in Athens.
‘One didn’t need to be an expert in body language to realise that the policemen who were leading him away weren’t gently shepherding him onto his VIP transport but taking away the man they suspected of murdering his wife.’
Earlier this year it emerged that Lydia had moved to the Philippines – where Mr Crouch’s wife is from – and he told MailOnline she was now living with Caroline’s half sister Donna.
He said: ‘Lydia is happily settled there. All of her cousins, like all Philippians, have straight black hair – so she stands out from the others and gets lots of attention – which she enjoys.’
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