The tragic toddler of murdered Briton Caroline Crouch was taken to be reunited with her maternal grandparents today after a Greek court ruled that she should live with them until a final decision is made on her future.
One-year-old Lydia had been staying with the parents of her father, Charalambos ‘Babis’ Anagnostopoulos, 33, following his arrest two weeks ago.
He confessed that he murdered his wife Caroline, 20, before staging an elaborate hoax to make it appear that she had been killed in a botched burglary.
The confession only came after weeks of falsely playing a grieving husband, and surrounding himself with Ms Crouch’s family and devastated parents.
Lydia was carried by Anagnostopoulos’s mother, Georgia, out of their Athens home shortly after 9am, holding her tightly in her arms.
The toddler of murdered Caroline Crouch was taken by the mother (pictured) of the killer to be reunited with her maternal grandparents after a Greek court ruled she should live with them
David, the grieving father of a murdered Caroline Crouch has said he wanted to ‘blow the head off’ her killer husband Babis Anagnostopoulos (both pictured with daughter Lydia)
She was gently placed into a car and then taken to a secret location, where according to reports she was handed over to Caroline’s mother, Susan, away from the media.
Footage broadcast on Greek television later showed a white car with Susan inside it boarding a ferry from Alonnisos to mainland Greece on her way to collect Lydia.
The youngster will live on the picturesque island with Susan and her partner David,78, a retired gas executive who was born in Liverpool. She is expected to arrive later today or tomorrow.
It is also the island where Caroline spent most of her life and where she met Anagnostopoulos while still a teenager.
Lydia will live in the retirement Susan and David’s retirement home on Alonnisos, where they will be helped by domestic staff and friends to raise her.
Earlier this week, a Greek court ruled that they should be granted temporary custody of the child and all legal responsibility for her was removed from Anagnostopoulos, who is not expected to face trial for another 18 months.
He had wanted custody of Lydia to be shared between the two families.
Lydia was carried by Anagnostopoulos’s mother, Georgia (pictured), out of their Athens home shortly after 9am, holding her tightly in her arms
Lydia was gently placed into a car (pictured) and taken to a secret location, where according to reports she was handed over to Caroline’s mother, Susan, away from the media
A final decision on Lydia’s future is to be made within the next two months with Greek courts likely to award permanent custody of her to Susan and David.
While David has now spoken out a number of times about Caroline’s killing, Susan has remained tight lipped.
The only insight into her heartbreak is contained in a police statement on May 13, two days after Caroline’s killing when she was not aware that Anagnostopoulos was the perpetrator.
In the statement, seen by MailOnline, Susan recalls Caroline’s idyllic upbringing on the picture postcard island of Alonnisos, where she enjoyed diving, acting and was considered a model student.
She states: ‘Caroline’s childhood years were in Alonnisos. ‘This is where she went to school, where she made friends and where she met Babis, whom she later got married to.
‘Caroline was a very good child, an excellent student and she took part in all kinds of activities. She was holding her school’s flag for Greece’s national day, she went to the scouts, she went diving and she loved acting and doing a lot more activities.’
She tells police that she moved to the island with David and Caroline so that they could have a more ‘beautiful life’.
She added that the last time she spoke with Caroline was on the night of 10 May when her daughter had called her to see if she was suffering from any side effects from the coronavirus vaccine.
Just hours later Caroline was found brutally murdered in the early hours of 11 May.
Susan recalled: ‘The last time we talked on the phone, on Monday evening, it was the day I had taken the coronavirus vaccine and she called to see how I was doing. She didn’t seem to be preoccupied with anything. We said goodnight and hung up.’
She also revealed in her statement how she came to know that Caroline had been murdered after some friends arrived at her house to tell her what had happened.
She added: ‘I made some phone calls myself and that’s how I got to know about what had happened.’
Referring to the horrific events that led to Caroline’s death, Susan stated: ‘What happened in the house I don’t know, and I don’t want to know about it because it hurts too much.
‘Thank God Lydia is all right.’
Meanwhile, grieving father David has said he wanted to ‘blow the head off’ Caroline’s killer husband Anagnostopoulos.
David, 78, revealed his grief turned to fury after he found out police had taken Caroline’s husband from her memorial service to confront him with evidence proving he was the killer
David, 78, revealed that his grief rapidly turned to fury after he found out police had taken Anagnostopoulos from her memorial service to confront him with evidence proving he was the killer.
‘When I found out later, my one regret was that I hadn’t known when he was here,’ he told The Sun.
‘I would have blown his f***ing lying head right off his shoulders and willingly taken the consequences.’
David said he and wife Susan learned of Caroline’s May 11 death from neighbours on Greek island Alonissos.
He said: ‘I’ll never forget how I felt. It was as if an icy hand had reached inside my chest and gripped my heart. It was the worst day of my life.’
He said he believed there was ‘some foundation’ to rumours in the Greek press that the killer pilot was also linked to drug smuggling.
He said Caroline had a strong ‘sense of right and wrong’ and would have threatened to leave him had she found out he was involved.
The shocking revelation came as Ms Crouch’s parents were awarded sole custody of her baby daughter Lydia
The shocking revelation came as Ms Crouch’s parents were awarded sole custody of her baby daughter.
One-year-old Lydia will be handed over to Susan and David Crouch who want to bring up their granddaughter on the Greek island of Alonnisos.
The Athens court ruling is a blow to the other set of grandparents, the parents of the husband who killed Miss Crouch.
Miss Crouch’s husband Babis Anagnostopoulos has confessed to killing her. He wanted his parents to help bring up his daughter but they must now hand her over – although they have been granted access. A permanent decision ruling will be made in 30 days.
Mr Crouch said: ‘All the people here on the island are rooting for Susan and me in our quest to gain full custody of Lydia.’