Greece murder: Husband 'begged thieves not to kill baby daughter'

12 May 2021, 10:35 | Updated: 12 May 2021, 14:04

Caroline Crouch, 20, died during a home burglary in Greece
Caroline Crouch, 20, died during a home burglary in Greece. Picture: Instagram

By Kate Buck

The husband of a British woman killed during a home burglary in Greece has said they begged not to be hurt as thieves held a gun to their baby's temple.

Caroline Crouch, 20, was strangled at her family home in an affluent Athens suburb after her husband Charalambos Anagnostopoulos, 33, was tied up by burglars.

It is believed three armed men broke into their house at around 5am on Tuesday while another stood guard outside.

Read more: British mum, 20, tortured and killed in front of 11-month-old daughter

The group then began torturing Ms Crouch to reveal the location of their valuables before strangling her in front of their 11-month-old daughter.

Mr Anagnostopoulos has given a number of media interviews describing the horrors which unfolded.

"I heard my wife screaming for help tied to the bed while I was tied to the floor," local news outlet Dawn said he told police

"We screamed not to be hurt. 

"The baby was crying, my wife was crying and someone or some people were looking for the house to find more money and jewellery. Suddenly they left the room and I couldn't hear my wife's voice anymore."

Her husband Charalambos Anagnostopoulos says they begged not to be harmed as the thieves held a gun to their daughter's head
Her husband Charalambos Anagnostopoulos says they begged not to be harmed as the thieves held a gun to their daughter's head. Picture: PA

In a TV interview later the same day, he said: "I wish no one ever goes through what we went through last night. It was a nightmare. 

"We begged the thieves not to harm us. We told them where the money was and asked them to leave us alone. The police will catch them."

As they left, the thieves killed the couple's dog and hung it on the front fence of their three-story home before fleeing with tens of thousands of pounds in cash and stolen goods.

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Police are hunting for the killers and the Greek government has issued a €300,000 (£258,000) reward for information about the group.

Mr Anagnostopoulos - a helicopter pilot - later managed to access a phone and called the emergency services, who arrived shortly after.

The couple are believed to have married in 2018
The couple are believed to have married in 2018. Picture: PA

Greek media outlet Proto Thema named the couple and reported the husband as telling police: "It was shortly after five. I saw three hooded men. One was tall. They shouted and threatened in broken Greek.

"They tied me to a chair and then went on my wife."

Theodoros Chronopoulos, a spokesman for Greek police, described the attack as a "heinous crime, committed with extreme ferocity".

He added: "Such barbarism is rare for Greece."

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Ms Crouch, a student who was born in Greece but held a British passport, was in the attic with her daughter at the time of the raid and her husband was sleeping downstairs.

The three burglars entered the property by its cellar after smashing a window, then tied Mr Anagnostopoulos to a chair as he tried to fight them off.

After killing the 20-year-old mother, her husband reportedly rushed upstairs to find the woman lying on the floor face down with the baby crying next to her.

Officers said they were investigating at the crime scene and interviewing locals to track down the group.

Mr Anagnostopoulos and the daughter were later taken to hospital.