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Parents of the British bride killed by her husband in Greece promise to care for her baby daughter

The parents of murdered British mother Caroline Crouch yesterday vowed to care for her baby daughter and ensure ‘the memories of her mother live forever’.

Susan and David Crouch are wracked with a gut-wrenching grief that will never leave them following their daughter’s death at the hands of her Greek husband.

But one crusade keeps them focused – the fate of their granddaughter Lydia, too young to understand what she witnessed when her father suffocated her 20-year-old mother.

It has been 41 days since Miss Crouch was murdered and almost a week since her husband confessed to killing her with a pillow in front of Lydia.

Yesterday Miss Crouch’s father, David, told the Daily Mail: ‘Both Susan and I will spend the rest of our lives making sure that justice is done and ensuring that her little daughter Lydia is brought up with all the advantages that we can give her and that the memories of her mother live forever.’

But amid their grief, a custody battle over 11-month-old Lydia may now loom with her father’s parents.

In their first words since her death, David and Susan told of their deep pride in the young mother who was ‘cruelly taken away at the beginning of what was expected to be a wonderful life’. In a double horror for her parents, the son-in-law they wept with had deceived them in the worst way imaginable.

For weeks, Babis Anagnostopoulos coolly played the tearful widower as police searched for the ‘robbers’ he claimed had tied him up and killed his wife, plus the family’s pet dog, Roxy.

Then last Wednesday, hours after hugging heartbroken Susan at a memorial service, Anagnostopoulos, 33, finally brought the cruel charade to an end with a police confession.

The parents of murdered British mother Caroline Crouch yesterday vowed to care for her baby daughter and ensure ‘the memories of her mother live forever’

As they face trying to come to terms with such appalling betrayal, David and Susan cannot bear to speak about the events of May 11 when their daughter was attacked in her sleep, defenceless.

But they will always be fiercely proud of their daughter, and yesterday the couple told the Daily Mail about her young life on the Greek island of Alonnisos, where they settled when Caroline was 22 months old.

David listed the ‘many accomplishments of my wonderful daughter’. As a schoolgirl, multilingual Caroline ‘could run the legs off most of the boys of her age’ and was just as gifted academically.

Liverpool-born David, 78, said: ‘Caroline was born in a private hospital in Athens on 12th July 2001 but was a British citizen. She first came to the island with her mother as a babe-in-arms to be introduced to her future friends, and then moved to the island permanently with Susan and me in May of 2003.’

Caroline's parents are focused on the fate of their granddaughter Lydia, too young to understand what she witnessed when her father suffocated her 20-year-old mother. Pictured: Caroline (left) and husband Babis Anagnostopoulos on their wedding day

Caroline’s parents are focused on the fate of their granddaughter Lydia, too young to understand what she witnessed when her father suffocated her 20-year-old mother. Pictured: Caroline (left) and husband Babis Anagnostopoulos on their wedding day

Alonnisos – next to Skopelos, where Mamma Mia was filmed – is a lush and unspoilt island. David, a retired gas executive who met his wife, originally from the Philippines, in Athens when he was working on a pipeline project, had their dream home built on a stunning hilltop with breath-taking views to the sparkling Aegean Sea.

Caroline began nursery when she was three, junior school at five and then went to senior school where she ‘excelled academically’, said her father.

He said: ‘She was invariably chosen to carry the national flag in the Independence Day parades, an honour reserved for students who excel at their studies.’

He said she was ‘a keen Scout and took part in exhibitions of traditional dancing’, adding: ‘At a relatively young age, she also became a proficient kayaker, taking to the sea like a seasoned veteran. And as a talented performer she would, together with her school friends, entertain the people of the island in popular plays, staged at the municipal theatre.’ 

He said: ‘Caroline of course had a serious side and in her mid-teens embarked on a religious study course. Both Susan and I were very proud when she was awarded a place at Piraeus University to read statistics although we were very sad to see her leave home.’

David said his daughter was ‘not just academically brilliant, she was also a wonderful sportswoman’.

He said: ‘From learning to swim at an early age, she went on to qualify as a scuba diver in open water diving – her only disappointment being that she couldn’t gain her instructors certificate because she was under eighteen at the time.

‘She competed in 10km road races here on the island and could run the legs off most of the boys of her age. A keen kick-boxer, she terrified the life out of me – although I can say, hand on heart, in all our time together we never had a cross word.’

How different to the self-serving account spun to police by Caroline’s husband, who claimed she died during a heated ‘argument’ the couple had. In reality, he brutally smothered her with a pillow while she slept.

When Caroline was younger, she pursued carefree adventures exploring Europe, said her parents.

David said: ‘During the school holidays she would travel extensively with her school friends, phoning home every day to reassure her mother that she was well. Using her fluency in languages, she would help to organise these trips for her school. As well as speaking Greek, she spoke perfect, unaccented English and was fluent in French and Tagalog, her mother’s language.’

Pictured: Caroline's mother Susan (centre) at her grave on the island of Alonissos in Greece

Pictured: Caroline’s mother Susan (centre) at her grave on the island of Alonissos in Greece

Caroline and Babis Anagnostopoulos married in Portugal in 2018, when she was still a teenager and he a 28-year-old successful helicopter pilot. They lived a seemingly perfect life in a semi-detached villa in wealthy Athens suburb Glyka Nera.   

Caroline’s parents’ lives have been shattered – but they are determined to pursue justice for Lydia, and give her the best possible care.

The little girl – whose mother is dead and whose father will be in jail for at least the rest of her childhood – is currently being looked after by her paternal grandparents in Athens. Anagnostopoulos’s parents yesterday declared they want to play a part in her upbringing too.

Anagnostopoulos’s father, Constantinos, said: ‘The baby is with us. All we care about is the future of this baby and we want to be as focused on this as much as possible.’

Referring to his son’s incarceration and daughter-in-law’s death, he said: ‘As a father right now, I have lost two children. Now I want to ensure this baby doesn’t have more bad luck – none of this is this child’s fault.’

According to Greek newspaper Proto Thema, Lydia’s paternal grandparents will ask for 50/50 custody of the little girl. It will be down to a Greek court to decide in a hearing in about 90 days’ time where Lydia will end up.

Today Anagnostopoulos will appear in court in Athens to formally record his version of events before a judge.


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