The 11-month-old baby of a British-Filipino woman brutally murdered in Greece during a burglary was found crying, say reports.
Baby Lydia watched her mother Caroline Crouch, 20, being tortured for an hour before being strangled by intruders who broke into their home at Glyka Nera, a suburb of Athens, before dawn on Tuesday.
A post-mortem examination has shown that the mother may have been strangled by the intruders, using her own T-shirt.
Her 32-year-old husband Charalambos Anagnostopoulos, a civil aviation pilot, begged intruders to leave his family unharmed. He was tied up and handcuffed with duct tape over his eyes and mouth as the three burglars searched the property for valuables before killing his wife and hanging the family dog by its own leash as a fourth accomplice kept watch outside.
Mr Anagnostopoulos managed to wriggle free and call the police at around 6am. He said thieves held a gun to the baby’s head as they demanded to know where their valuables were.
“I hope no-one ever goes through what we went through last night. It was a nightmare. We begged the thieves not to harm us. We told them where the money was and asked them to leave us alone,” he said.
The incident has shocked a nation, prompting a push for the Greek government to increase prison terms for heinous crimes.
Justice Minister Konstantinos Tsiaras told Skai TV on Thursday that the issue has “already been discussed” by members of the committee on the monitoring of the Greek Criminal Code.
“There is an intention to toughen the sentences, especially for heinous crimes, sex crimes [and] all that have received a lot of publicity lately,” Mr Tsiaras said.
“With the new legislation, anyone sentenced to life in prison will spend more years incarcerated than today.”
The new legislation will be presented this summer to ensure criminals who receive life sentences will be kept behind bars for a minimum of 20 years from the current 16 years before they are put on parole.
Public Order Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis said, “We are all shaken up and personally I am shaken up.”
Speaking at the annual Delphi Economic Forum on Tuesday he said it is rare to encounter such brutality in Greece.