A Greek helicopter pilot has been charged with the murder of his British wife after claiming she was killed during a robbery at their home outside of Athens.

Babis Anagnostopoulos appeared in court in the Greek capital in handcuffs and wearing a bulletproof vest. He is due to return next week to give evidence.

Police allege he tried to create a convincing crime scene by placing their baby next to her dead mother. He is also accused of choking the family dog to death with its lead in his bid to fool investigators.

The 33-year-old helicopter pilot and flight instructor has confessed and expressed remorse for his actions, his lawyer told reporters.

Caroline Crouch, 20, a British national who grew up in Greece, was found murdered in the bedroom of the couple’s home on 11 May after her husband called the police.

Following the killing, Anagnostopoulos told reporters they had been tied up and gagged by robbers who strangled her after breaking into their property.

Police had offered a £257,000 reward for information on the crime.

More from World

Anagnostopoulos was detained late on Thursday for the killing of Ms Crouch, after attending a memorial service on the Aegean Sea island of Alonissos, where she grew up.

Nikos Rigas, the deputy chairman of the police officers’ association of Athens, told state TV that examination of mobile devices, a smartwatch, and cameras had established a timeline that contradicted the pilot’s initial account.

While he claimed to have been bound by the robbers, police found that he moved around the house – going from the attic to the basement, sources told Sky News.

“(The suspect) tried to create a crime scene environment that looked convincing: The dog was killed, and his baby was placed next to the body of the murdered mother,” Mr Rigas said.

Their baby daughter was unharmed.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Greece Murder: Husband hugs victim’s mum

Following his wife’s killing, Anagnostopoulos told Greek television that he “begged” burglars not to harm his family.

He said: “I cannot describe it. I cannot describe it.

“I hope this will not happen to anyone else.

“Police are doing their job and they will catch them. I hope what my family and the family of my wife has been through will not happen to anyone again.”

On 16 May, Anagnostopoulos posted on Instagram a photograph of the couple on a trip to Portugal, writing: “Always together. Farewell, my love.”