CAROLINE Crouch’s mum is delighted she can see her daughter again – in the eyes of the murdered Brit’s baby, her lawyer has said.
Susan Dela Cuesta was speaking after her and Caroline’s dad David Crouch were granted custody of year-old Lydia, who has now been given to them in an emotional handover by the mum of Caroline’s killer husband.
Caroline was smothered to death by husband Charalambos “Babis” Anagnostopoulos as their year-old daughter lay nearby.
His parents, teacher Georgia, and Kostas Anagnostopoulos, a mechanical engineer and architect, had been looking after Lydia after 20-year-old Caroline was killed on May 11.
Twisted Anagnostopoulos, 33, claimed last week that he wanted to raise his baby daughter from prison.
But a court stripped him of his parental rights and gave exclusive custody of the child to the Crouch family.
The family’s lawyer Thanassis Harmanis told The Sun Online: “Susan was happy yesterday. She will be able to see Caroline again in the eyes of Lydia.”
The emotional handover began around 9am in Athens, when little Lydia was seen being carried down the street to a car by Anagnostopoulos’ mum and brother Fotis.
She was clutching a bag carrying Lydia’s clothes and other items.
Susan was happy yesterday. She will be able to see Caroline again in the eyes of Lydia.
Family lawyer Thanassis Harmanis
Caroline’s mum Susan Dela Cuesta arrived in the Greek capital and it will be the first time the two grandmothers will have met since Anagnostopoulos admitting killing Caroline.
Lydia will now be be brought up on the island of Alonissos, where Caroline’s Brit dad David and Susan, who is from the Philippines, settled.
She will stay on the island where her mother was raised.
Thanassis Harmanis, the Crouch’s family lawyer, said being raised on the island will shield Lydia from hurtful comments.
“In Athens she would be known as ‘the child of the murderer,’” he added.
“In Alonissos she would be the daughter of Caroline whose life was unjustly cut short.’”
Susan had previously requested full custody of her granddaughter so that she is “not known as a killer’s daughter”.
Relations between the two grandmothers are “excellent”, Harmanis has said.
The court’s ruling allows Georgia and Kostas to see their granddaughter five times a week between 10am and 2pm but only on Alonissos.
They are said to be distraught by what has happened, while Fotis has cut off all ties with his brother.
At the time Caroline was murdered, Georgia was pictured carrying Lydia away from her parent’s home.
The parents of the pilot had requested a joint custody and applied to look after her for at least six months of the year.
It currently remains unknown if they will try to overturn the judgement – legally they can apply against it within 30 days.
After killing Caroline, Anagnostopoulos strangled their puppy Roxy before telling cops they were the victims of a botched break-in at home in Athens – a charade he maintained for 38 days.
Caroline’s retired oil exec dad David, 78, said his grief turned to fury when he discovered cops had taken Anagnostopoulos from her memorial service to confront him with evidence proving he was the killer.
He said: “When I found out later, my one regret was that I hadn’t known when he was here. I would have blown his f***ing lying head right off his shoulders and willingly taken the consequences.”
He even asked her parents to pay for her coffin, Thanassis Haramanis, the lawyer for Caroline’s family said.
“This man has no shame. First he killed Caroline, then he asked her parents for money to pay for her coffin and to fly her body from Athens for the funeral.
“They gave him 4,000 euros. He paid nothing.”
HOW YOU CAN GET HELP:
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – email@example.com.
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available. from 10am to noon.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.