Greek pilot Babis Anagnostopoulos wore a bulletproof vest on Friday when he arrived in court, hours after confessing to killing his British wife who he said had been tortured by a gang of burglars.
Anagnostopoulos, 33, wore the protective vest and was surrounded by armed officers as he was led in handcuffs to an Athens court to face multiple charges in the murder of his 20-year-old wife Caroline Crouch.
His lawyer confirmed to reporters that the widower confessed to killing the British national on Thursday, claiming to have expressed remorse.
The May 11 crime had been rampant in Greece ever since Anagnostopoulos claimed he was gagged and tied to a chair while a band of callous burglars tortured and then killed his wife in front of their baby girl.
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He even suffocated the family’s dog to death, which was found hanging from a stair railing, and then tied his hands and those of his deceased wife before police arrived, Costas told reporters. Hassiotis, director of the homicide division of greater Athens.
“Everything was staged to make the crime scene look like the scene of a robbery,” Hassiotis said.
Anagnostopoulos maintained the facade throughout – and was even filmed hugging Crouch’s grieving mother at a memorial service Thursday, with police awaiting completion to bring her in for questioning.
He finally confessed after receiving overwhelming new technological evidence – including heart rate data on his wife’s smartwatch that showed she had died before her husband claimed it, police said.
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Anagnostopoulos had also removed a memory card from security cameras, and data from his watch showed he was moving around the house, including the attic where his wife’s body was found, during the period when he claimed to have been tied up, police told London Times.
“He was moving around as he claimed to have been immobilized by the thieves,” Penelope Maniatis, director of the Greek police’s forensic department, told the British newspaper. “This was the first major inconsistency created in his testimony and the first clear suspicion created.”
His deceased wife’s phone also showed that on the night of the attack she had tried to book herself and her daughter, Lydia, into a hotel room, the UK newspaper said.
“Faced with the evidence, he confessed,” Apostolos Skrekas, spokesman for the Hellenic police, told the UK Times.
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“The tracker contradicted his initial testimony that he was roped and gagged by three assailants. Instead, we found he was moving around the house, going from the attic to the basement.”
He told officers he “acted with rage in times of crisis” when his wife threatened to leave him, Skrekas said. “He explained in detail how he strangled the victim,” added the spokesperson.
It was not immediately clear who would take care of the couple’s baby girl, who Anagnostopoulos placed next to her deceased mother’s body to make sure the crime scene “looked convincing,” said officials at the UK Times.
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Officers previously revealed that they found her punching her mother in a heartbreaking attempt to wake her up.
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