Greek pilot Babis Anagnostopoulos wore a bulletproof vest Friday as he arrived at court, hours after confessing to killing his British wife who he’d initially claimed was tortured by a gang of burglars.
Anagnostopoulos, 33, wore the protective vest and was surrounded by armed officers as he was led in handcuffs into an Athens court to face a slew of charges in 20-year-old wife Caroline Crouch’s murder.
His lawyer confirmed to reporters that the widower had on Thursday confessed to killing the British national, saying he had expressed remorse.
The May 11 crime had griped Greece ever since Anagnostopoulos claimed that he had been gagged and tied to a chair while a callous gang of burglars tortured and then killed his wife in front of their baby daughter.
He even choked to death the family dog, who was found hanging on a staircase rail, and then tied his own hands and those of his dead wife before police arrived, Costas Hassiotis, director of the greater Athens homicide division, told reporters.
“Everything was staged for the crime scene to 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 waiting for it to end to bring him in for interrogation.
He finally confessed after being presented with damning new technological evidence — including heart rate data on his wife’s smartwatch that showed she died before her husband claimed, police have said.
Anagnostopoulos had also removed a memory card from security cameras, and data from his watch showed that he’d been moving around the house, including the attic where his wife’s body was found, in the period he claimed to have been tied up, police told The Times of London.
“He was moving during the time he claimed to have been immobilized by the robbers,” Penelope Maniatis, director of the Greek Police’s forensics department, told the UK paper. “This was the first major inconsistency created in his testimony and the first clear suspicion created.”
His dead wife’s phone also showed that on the night of the attack she had been trying to book herself and daughter, Lydia, into a hotel room, the UK paper said.
“When faced with the evidence he confessed,” Apostolos Skrekas, a spokesman for the Hellenic Police, told the UK Times.
“The tracker contradicted his initial testimony that he had been roped up and gagged by three assailants. Instead, what we found was that he moved around the house, going from the attic to the basement.”
He told officers he “acted in rage at a time of crisis” when his wife threatened to leave him, Skrekas said. “He explained in full detail how he strangled the victim,” the spokesman added.
It was not immediately clear who would care for the couple’s baby daughter, whom Anagnostopoulos placed next to her dead mom’s body to make sure the crime scene “looked convincing,” officials told the UK Times.
Officers previously revealed that they found her hitting her mom in a heartbreaking bid to wake her.