Murdered Caroline Crouch’s parents win full custody of her toddler Lydia with her killer husband’s family given rights of access, Greek court rules
- The toddler will grow up in her mother’s childhood home, a court in Greece ruled
- She witnessed her mother being suffocated by her Greek helicopter pilot father
- Miss Crouch was killed by her husband Babis Anagnostopoulos in Athens in May
- He then cynically staged a burglary and spun a cruel web of lies to her family
Murdered Caroline Crouch’s parents have won full custody of their granddaughter Lydia, it can be revealed.
The toddler, who witnessed her British mother being suffocated by her Greek helicopter pilot father, will now grow up in her mother’s childhood home, a court in Greece ruled yesterday.
Miss Crouch was killed by her husband Babis Anagnostopoulos in front of baby Lydia in Athens on May 11.
He then cynically staged a burglary and spun a cruel web of lies to her family that robbers had killed the 19-year-old Briton in their home.
Anagnostopoulos, 33, finally confessed weeks later after police confronted him with evidence proving he was the killer.
The toddler, who witnessed her British mother being suffocated by her Greek helicopter pilot father, will now grow up in her mother’s childhood home, a court in Greece ruled yesterday
Now their one-year-old daughter – whose father will likely receive a life sentence in prison – has been formally put into the care of Miss Crouch’s parents, Susan and David, on the Aegean island of Alonnisos where they live.
The hearing made the temporary sole custody ruling put in place in June a permanent arrangement.
The killer’s parents, Constantinos and Georgia, will have rights of access.
Mr and Mrs Anagnostopoulos looked after Lydia after her mother’s murder and they had wanted to keep her, but Mr and Mrs Crouch launched a legal bid for sole custody.
Mr Crouch, 78, from Liverpool, told the Mail: ‘Susan and I have been granted full custody with the other grandparents allowed visitation rights five times a month.
‘It is now our intention to baptise Lydia into the Greek Orthodox Church, as was Caroline, in the little chapel close to the cemetery where Caroline was laid to rest.’
The retired engineer added: ‘Lydia is fine, and like her mother, grows more beautiful by the day.
‘She is now walking confidently, eats heartily and charms everyone she comes into contact with.
‘Unfortunately, although she has a fine new cot with the latest hi-tech mattress, she resolutely refuses to sleep alone.’
Anagnostopoulos, 33, finally confessed weeks later after police confronted him with evidence proving he was the killer
Instead she sleeps with Mrs Crouch in her daughter’s childhood bed, with posters of her favourite band, One Direction, looking over them.
The Crouches have already chosen Lydia’s godparents – two of Miss Crouch’s closest friends from her time on the island.
‘The duty of the godparents is taken very seriously here in Greece,’ said Mr Crouch.
‘They will be expected to attend to Lydia’s spiritual welfare and so we chose two people who are likely to remain here on Alonnisos throughout her formative years.’
Her paternal grandparents are currently living on the island in their holiday home. ‘They are frequent visitors and of course are besotted with their granddaughter,’ he said.
The murder shocked the island and indeed the whole of Greece.
It was not until 38 days after her death that it emerged that Miss Crouch had been murdered by her husband – suffocated as she slept with Lydia in their house in an upmarket enclave of the Greek capital.
Police found the infant clinging to her mother’s lifeless body. A motive for the killing has yet to be established. In July, the Daily Mail set up the Lydia Fund to help secure her financial future.
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