CAROLINE CROUCH: Anagnostopoulos says she "triggered" him, describes himself as a widower

Flanked by cops, Babis Anagnostopoulos (centre) wore a bulletproof vest to court on April 8, 2022.

Babis Anagnostopoulos accused Caroline Crouch of "triggering" him and described himself as a widow despite being accused of killing his British born wife with a pillow as she slept.

The 33-year-old pilot appeared before three female judges on the first day of his trial for the murder of his 20-year-old wife.

He also faces charges of murdering her pet dog Roxy and two counts of perverting the course of justice.

Prosecutor Evgenia Stahoulopoulou told the court: 'Caroline's murder was executed by a man who was very calm.

Pilot Anagnostopoulos leaves the Investigator's office at Athens court, Greece, on 18 June last year after an arrest warrant was issued

'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.'

Ms Stahoulopoulou added that the murder of Roxy was also committed by Anagnostopoulos while he was ‘calm’ as part of his ruse to make it appear that burglars had stormed his home and made off with cash and jewellery.

Anagnostopoulos, who was wearing a black suit and tie and a bullet proof vest underneath, sat in the dock handcuffed listening dispassionately as details of his crime were read out.fma

The prosecutor added: ‘He [Anagnostopoulos] accused three random burglars he had never seen before. He gave very specific characteristics of the burglars faces to police when he was questioned.

‘He was very specific about their noses, their lips. He said specifically that one of the burglars said something in a language he could not work out, possibly Bulgarian or Albanian.

'Babis hanged the dog from the bannisters to make it look as if these burglars had done it.’

Anagnostopoulos does not deny the killings but denies murder, insisting that they were not ‘premeditated’ and that it was a ‘crime of passion’ caused by Caroline’s behaviour.

Anagnostopoulos is relying on six witnesses, including his parents and some friends to help him prove his case that he acted in the ‘heat of the moment'. Pictured arriving at the prosecutors office to give evidence in June 2021

If found guilty, he faces life imprisonment for the murder of Caroline plus another ten years for the killing of Roxy.

Caroline’s body was discovered next to her then 11-month-old baby Lydia while Roxy’s hanging torso was the first thing police officers saw when they entered the house they shared in an Athens suburb.

The high-profile hearing got underway shortly after 9am local time after Anagnostopoulos was escorted into the court complex by six armed officers.

He was met by a scrum of photographers and some members of the public, with one screaming: ‘You deserve to rot in prison for life, you murder.’

Anagnostopoulos spoke in court only to confirm his age and occupation and added: ‘I am married, widowed and father of a child.’

The couple began dating when Caroline was still a teenager. They married in Portugal in 2019

Athanasios Harmanis, the lawyer for Caroline’s parents, David Crouch and Susan Dela Cuesta told the court that they were unable to attend for different reasons.

He said that Mr Crouch was too ill to travel from the island of Alonissos, where he lives with his wife while she was advised not to attend the hearing by her therapist.

He said: ‘For Susan to be here, it would shatter her peace of mind. This whole episode has left both of them deeply disturbed and they are struggling to cope with what happened.’

The couple were awarded custody of baby Lydia last year.

Anagnostopoulos faces a mixed jury trial, in which the three full-time judges and four jurors will decide his fate.

Of the four jurors selected, two are male and two female with the hearing expected to last up to six days.

Anagnostopoulos’s defence is that he was ‘triggered’ into committing the crimes because Caroline ‘mistreated’ their baby on the night they argued and that he acted in ‘self-defence’ because of her martial arts skills.

There are nine prosecution witnesses, including Susan Dela Cuesta; a therapist who Caroline was seeing with her husband; their former next-door neighbour; the coroner; three police officers and some childhood friends of Caroline.

Anagnostopoulos is relying on six witnesses, including his parents and some friends to help him prove his case that he acted in the ‘heat of the moment.’ He also claims that Caroline became more aggressive after suffering a miscarriage.

Caroline (left), Anagnostopoulos (right) and their baby daughter pose for a snap in May 2021

Following the hearing, Anagnostopoulos ‘s lawyer Alexandros Papaioannidis told media: ‘There was no premeditation, there was no preliminary planning. He was in a state of psychological arousal.’

The trial was adjourned until next Tuesday when the first of the witnesses will start giving evidence on behalf of the prosecution.

Anagnostopoulos was flanked by six armed police officers and dressed in a smart black suit, white shirt and tie and was wearing a bullet proof vest underneath as he was frog marched into the Mixed Judicial Court in Athens this morning where his case is being heard by three full-time judges and four jurors.

He was transferred from Athens’ high-security Koyrdallos prison arriving at court shortly after 8.30am local time and was quickly whisked up to the second floor for a meeting with his lawyer, Alexandros Papaioannidis.

Dozens of photographers stood at the entrance of the court along with a handful of members of the public for the start of the trial which has captured national and international attention.

Shortly before the hearing started at 9am, Mr Papaioannidis told MailOnline: ‘Babis is a little nervous as anybody would be who is in his position. We have been working hard on the case and are confident that the full truth will come out to explain what happened.

‘The world has yet to hear his full side of the story.’

Anagnostopoulos looked somber and glared at the judge as he was led into court by armed officers. He spoke only to confirm his name and age.

Caroline's body was found lifeless next to her sleeping baby daughter on May 11 last year

Caroline’s heartbroken mother Susan Dela Cuesta, who is due to give evidence, was supposed to attend the first day of the hearing but decided not to at the last minute.

The trial is expected to last around six days.

A key part of Anagnostopoulos's defence is that Caroline ‘triggered’ him into a ‘fit of rage’ after she violently pushed a crib in which their then 11-month-old daughter Lydia was sleeping.

While he has admitted to the killing, he maintains that it was a ‘crime of passion’ after she threatened to divorce him.

He insists that he killed Caroline’s dog Roxy after ‘panicking’ as he concocted a story on how she died.

After suffocating Caroline last May as she slept Anagnostopoulos hanged Roxy from the bannister of their Athens home by his leash in an attempt to make his story more credible that burglars had burst in and murdered his wife and the pet she doted on.

Caroline’s body was discovered next to her then 11-month-old baby Lydia while Roxy’s hanging torso was the first thing horrified police officers saw when they stormed the house after Anagnostopoulos alerted them, claiming gun-wielding gangsters had made off with cash and jewellery.

Anagnostopoulos, a helicopter pilot, kept up the pretense of the ‘grieving husband’ for more than a month and publicly spoke about the botched burglary story.

He was picked up by police last June after attending his wife's memorial service on the island of Alonnisos, where she grew up, and confessed to the crime a few days later.

Greek police arrested him after they found no trace of the gang he claimed had tied him up, suffocated his wife and stole €15,000 (£13,000) in cash plus jewellery.

They became suspicious when data collected from a fitness tracker on Caroline's wrist showed her heart had stopped beating before the alleged break-in took place - and data from other technical devices highlighted discrepancies.

There will be nine prosecution witnesses, including Susan Dela Cuesta, Caroline’s mother, a therapist who Caroline was seeing with her husband, their former next-door neighbour, the coroner, three police officers and some childhood friends of Caroline.

Anagnostopoulos is relying on six witnesses, including his parents and some friends to help him prove his case that he acted in the ‘heat of the moment.’

He also claims Caroline became more aggressive after suffering a miscarriage.

READ MORE: Caroline's Father Erupts At Babis Anagnostopoulos.