A Greek pilot who is facing trial for the murder of both his wife and their dog has claimed on Thursday, April 7, that her murder was due to the victim being an abusive mother to their daughter, as protests from women’s rights and animal rights group increase due to the case.

Thirty-two-year-old pilot Babis Anagnostopoulos, speaking through his lawyer Alexis Papaioannidis, claimed in an interview that his 20-year-old wife Caroline Crouch was an abusive parent to their 11-month-old daughter Lydia, and that this prompted him to murder her after he claims she crossed a line, according to the Daily Beast.

“But it was that night when Caroline turned ever more abusive, violently pushing the crib to the side, that set off Babis,” Papaioannidis said in an interview.

The public prosecutor for the case, Giorgos Noulis, however, begs to differ, claiming that Anagnostopoulos had a clear state of mind when he decided to murder Crouch and her dog, the Guardian reported.

“He had no inhibition to go through with the act despite the fact that she was the mother of his child,” Noulis said. “The victim was just 20 years old, while he was 13 years older and should have been her protector.”

Anagnostopoulos had originally claimed that his wife was killed by a roving band of foreign thieves, strangling his seven-month-old dog Roxy in an attempt to sell the idea further. However, he allegedly confessed to the crime after an eight-hour interrogation with the police.

Now, he faces a trial for both the murder of Crouch as well as the murder of his dog Roxy, for whom an animal rights group has hired a separate lawyer to defend their case.

“He will do everything to reduce his sentence and convince the court that Caroline’s death wasn’t pre-meditated,” Thanassis Haramanis, the lawyer for the Crouch family, said. “But he also faces the prospect of 10 years or more in prison for killing Caroline’s puppy.”

The Greek pilot, who was trained under the British air force, was arrested during his wife’s memorial service where he gave a eulogy about the death of his wife that many, including the parents of the victim, considered “heart-rending”.

“Her mother can still not believe that she was consoled by the man who took her beloved daughter away,” Haramanis said. “I don’t know if they could bear to be in the same room with him.”

Babis Anagnostopoulos, a 32-year-old Greek pilot who is accused of murdering his wife Caroline Crouch and her dog Roxy, has claimed that he killed her due to her being abusive towards their daughter Lydia. Milos Bicanski/Getty Images.

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