Babis Anagnostopoulos, the Greek helicopter pilot who killed his British wife Caroline Crouch last March, testified in court on Wednesday that he had “no excuses” for killing the young mother.
Anagnostopoulos, 33, even begged for forgiveness for killing his wife, who was aged just twenty at the time of her death.
“What was lost a year ago is irreplaceable…She didn’t deserve what happened, our dog didn’t deserve it or anyone else. The word ‘sorry’ is not enough. No matter how many times I tell her now that I’m sorry she won’t enjoy her life,” he said in court in Athens on Wednesday.
Babis Anagnostopoulos begs for forgiveness after killing wife
The confessed killer then went on to state that he doesn’t care about his “career, or being cursed by a large number of people…” and that he only cares that he will never see his wife again.
“My absolute priority in everything was her happiness,” he claimed.
At the time of Crouch’s murder, Anagnostopoulos claimed that masked burglars with foreign accents entered the couple’s home in the Athenian suburb of Glyka Nera looking for cash and jewelry.
Anagnostopoulos told police that they had tied up the couple separately and eventually strangled Crouch with the couple’s then 11-month-old baby present at her side and then also killed the family dog.
After a 40-day investigation, forensic evidence retrieved from smart phones and smart watches owned by the victim and her husband told another story, one which was wildly inconsistent with the pilot’s account.
Specifically, during the period when he claimed to have been completely immobilized and tied up by burglars, unable to assist his wife as she was being suffocated, police found that he was actively using his phone.
They were even able to determine from an app that tracks user’s steps that Anagnostopoulos was up and walking around during the time he stated he was tied down by the intruders.
Forensic evidence in Caroline Crouch case pointed toward Anagnostopoulos
His phone, along with that of his wife, shows that the couple had been fighting that night. According to records, the last text Crouch sent her husband that night was the word “stupid” in English.
Additionally, Caroline Crouch’s smart watch, which tracked data regarding her health, including her heart rate, showed the exact moment of her death.
In the minutes before she died, her heart rate suddenly began to be elevated, attesting to the fear she felt in the final moments of her life.
Additionally, the coroner’s report suggests Crouch had been sleeping when she was suffocated for six minutes in an upstairs bedroom.
Faced with the evidence, her husband confessed to the crime but continues to claim that the crime was not premeditated but was instead committed in the heat of the moment after Crouch told him she wanted to leave him and take their child.
In court on Wednesday, the killer recounted how he had met his wife when he was in his late twenties and she was just fifteen. The two began a sexual relationship when Crouch was just sixteen.
“She is the rarest person I have ever met in my life. A brilliant woman. At 16 you could speak with her about anything. Her personality was lovely. She filled anyone with love,” he stated.
“If I could turn back time, I’d choose Caroline again,” Anagnostopoulos claimed.
The murder of the young woman, which was followed by a string of other such cases in Greece, shocked the country.
Feminists and women’s groups in Greece fought to have the murders labeled “femicides,” or the killing of women, rather than simply murders.
Femicide is traditionally connected to the devaluation of women, which is a symptom of patriarchy, says Anna Lazou, an assistant professor of Philosophical Anthropology at Athens University. “Women being murdered for their sex are being murdered predominantly by male boyfriends or husbands,” she says.
Statistics show that domestic violence has been on the rise in Greece in recent years. In 2018, a total of 3,815 adult women were victims of domestic violence. The number in 2019 rose to 4,171 women.
There were thirteen femicides in 2018, eight in 2019, and ten in 2020. All of these were either related to intimate partners or family.