Caroline Crouch was smothered to death in her sleep, new smartwatch data has revealed, contradicting claims by her husband that he throttled her during a fight.
A coroner revealed the 20-year-old Briton was asleep at 4.05am on May 11 before a sudden burst of activity was recorded on the watch.
That is the moment that husband Babis Anagnostopoulos began suffocating her, according to new testimony released by police in which he speaks about laying down next to her in bed before ‘pressing the front of her face… to the pillow.’
Meanwhile an elderly neighbour revealed that the family is considering changing Caroline’s gravestone because it currently features a photo of her on her wedding day along with the inscription: ‘Our beloved mother, wife and daughter.’
Speaking at Miss Crouch’s grave on a hill overlooking the sparkling Aegean Sea, one elderly neighbour sobbed and pointed to the cruel irony of the inscription.
She said: ‘He did not love his wife. This stone will have to be changed.’
The gravestone of murdered Briton Caroline Crouch shows the mother smiling on her wedding day in 2018
Further details have emerged of Anagnostopoulos’s account to police of the night Miss Crouch, 20, was suffocated in front of the couple’s baby daughter Lydia.
Police also revealed harrowing diary entries written by Miss Crouch about the bitter fights between the pair, who lived a seemingly idyllic life in a wealthy Athens suburb.
When pregnant, in December 2019, she wrote: ‘I fought with Babi again. This time it was serious. I hit him, I cursed at him and he broke down the door… I am thinking of leaving.’
Initially, Anagnostopoulos, 33, cynically staged a robbery – even strangling the family dog – before leading detectives on a merry dance and playing the tearful widower for five weeks, weeping at her funeral and hugging her grieving mother Susan.
He finally confessed last week after police nailed him with data from her fitness tracker which recorded that her pulse had stopped an hour before he claimed robbers had burst in.
Having first claimed the couple had a blazing row and that ‘she pushed me and punched me… she threw the child inside the crib’, Anagnostopoulos now admits she was ‘sleeping… with her face resting on the pillow’, according to an extract of his police interview made public yesterday.
Miss Crouch, 20, was suffocated by her husband, Greek helicopter pilot Babis Anagnostopoulos, in front of their baby daughter Lydia
Anagnostopoulos confessed: ‘I laid down next to her, trying to tell her that what she did to Lydia was very bad. I pressed the front of her face, that is, her mouth, nose and eyes, to the pillow.
‘I think I was pressing her head with the weight of my body. While I was pushing her I told her two or three times: ‘You will not hit the little one again’.
Anger at death spreads across Greece
The horror of Caroline Crouch’s murder sparked poignant rallies across Greece at the weekend.
Her death has aroused national anger in the same way as the Sarah Everard killing in south London prompted heartfelt public gatherings.
Women, dressed in black, carried placards and lit candles in protest at rising cases of domestic violence.
Some had red handprints on their necks, referring to the fact that Miss Crouch was asphyxiated.
With slogans including ‘wife-killers possess our home keys’, they marched on parliament in Athens and held smaller rallies in the city of Patras and elsewhere.
Protesters said domestic violence was often swept under the carpet and Miss Crouch had been killed by a wealthy, white, middle-class man – rather than the ‘cheap foreign criminals’ he had initially blamed.
The Greek Network for Feminism, which organised the rallies, said: ‘One of the most horrific murders in the world, that of 20-year-old Caroline, has been added to the long and… endless list of murders of women in our country.
‘[Her] killing fills us with rage and anger at the murderous sexism that this system reproduces. One of the main motivations of men to kill is their effort to control and “own” women.’
‘This must have lasted for about five minutes, until I realised that Caroline had stopped moving. Then I panicked.’
The coroner said former schoolteacher Miss Crouch’s pulse data showed her asleep until 4.05am, on May 11, when her tracker suddenly recorded a sharp burst of heart activity.
A struggle went on for six minutes, until her heart flatlined at 4.11am.
Hours earlier, Anagnostopoulos had removed the memory cards from security cameras.
Only 100 yards from the cemetery where Miss Crouch is buried, on the island of Alonnisos, Susan and David Crouch, living at their retirement home, mourn their daughter.
Family friends say they are so shellshocked by their son-in-law’s ‘evil betrayal’, they have not even felt able to make the short walk to her grave since the funeral.
Family friend Kostas Mavrikis said: ‘I was crying with Babis when he gave his speech at her funeral. Imagine how betrayed Susan feels – she used to trust him, he was hugging her at the funeral.
‘It’s like she died twice: once when her daughter died and again when she learnt who killed her.’
Meanwhile, the killer ate a hearty meal and ‘slept like a baby’ in his first night behind bars, according to Greek media.
He requested his brother bring him a book by geophysicist David Bercovici titled The Origins of Everything.
Another friend, Kiki Anagnostou, said: ‘His behaviour at her funeral was bordering on cold-blooded. I remember he held the baby in his arms the whole time.’
Baby Lydia faces a tug of love over who will bring her up, now that her mother is dead and her father faces being jailed until she is in her 20s.
Her fate will be decided by a court in about 90 days. In the meantime, a prosecutor must decide whether the 11-month-old should stay with her father’s parents in Athens, go to her mother’s parents on Alonnisos, or be placed with social services.
The image of the grave comes as new data from Miss Crouch’s smartwatch wristband blows apart Agnostopoulos’s claims that he killed her after losing his temper during a fight
Anagnostopoulos has begged that his daughter grow up ‘in the family’, telling his lawyer Alexandros Papaioannidis: ‘I am devastated and everything I did, I did with my child in mind.’
Tomorrow in Athens, he faces another court hearing, following an initial appearance last Friday.
His lawyer said: ‘He will speak the truth to the court, without hiding anything. Unfortunately, his life was ruined.’