Babis Anagnostopoulos, 33, has admitted murdering wife Caroline Crouch who was found dead in her home in Greece last year, with a trial in Athens set to get underway next week
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A Greek helicopter pilot accused of murdering his British wife as she slept arrived for court today wearing a bulletproof vest under his suit jacket.
Babis Anagnostopoulos was escorted into the building by heavily armed guards with his hands behind his back in handcuffs.
The 33-year-old appeared before three female judges on the first day of his trial for the murder of Caroline Crouch, 20, as well as her dog Roxy and two counts of perverting the course of justice.
The pilot, who has admitted strangling and suffocating Caroline Crouch until she died in his hands, kept up the charade that his wife was killed during a bungled burglary for around six weeks.
His arrival came as Caroline’s disabled dad David said he would gladly “blow the head off” his former son-in-law.
Nineteen witnesses, including the couple’s neighbours and the councillor Caroline was seeing for weekly therapy sessions, are among those who will take the stand.
Prosecutor Evgenia Stahoulopoulou told the court: “Caroline’s murder was executed by a man who was very calm.
“She was sleeping, he approached her as she was lying, took a pillow and used all his force to block her airways and as a result, died of asphyxiation.
“This was a crime that was carried out while he was in a very calm state. He then presented the authorities with repeated lies with the intent to deceive them for the crimes he committed.”
The pilot admitted to the killing but maintains that it was a ‘crime of passion’ after she threatened to divorce him.
Caroline was found dead at her home in Greece on May 11 last year lying in her bed alongside her 11-month-old baby daughter.
Anagnostopoulos initially told police and reporters that foreign gang members armed with guns broke in while the family was sleeping, then tied up and gagged him and his wife.
“I wish no-one ever goes through what we went through last night. It was a nightmare,” Anagnostopoulos said the day after his wife was found dead.
A coroner said Crouch, who was enrolled as a student at a local university, suffered an “agonising death” as asphyxiation “took five to six minutes”.
Standing outside the court the family’s lawyer explained Caroline’s devastated parents would not be attending the trial.
He added her father has mobility problems and her mum, Susan, would psychologically find it too distressing to be in the presence of the man who “for 40 days consoled her” as he played the heart-broken widow.
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The couple recently won custody of their daughter’s two-year-old Lydia who is now being raised on their island home in Alonissos.
Earlier this week it was revealed Anagnostopoulos could face an extra ten years in prison if he is found guilty of killing their dog.
Evangelia Tsanopoulou, the lawyer representing Roxy the dog, has said she will argue for the maximum decade long sentence.
The trial, expected to last several weeks, will resume on Tuesday.