The husband of a British woman killed in front of their 11-month-old child in Greece “begged” burglars not to harm his family.

The father said the criminals threatened to kill the baby if the pair did not say where their money and jewellery was kept.

Caroline Crouch, 20, was tortured and then strangled in the home invasion near Athens in the early hours of Tuesday.

Her husband, helicopter pilot Charalambos Anagnostopoulos, 32, was tied up and gagged first after intruders reportedly broke in through a ground floor window.

The thieves then went to another room where Ms Couch was sleeping next to her child and interrogated her.

Mr Anagnostopoulos said at one point he heard the burglars say to his partner “tell us where the money is, we will kill the baby”, according to local media.

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It is thought that martial arts trained Ms Crouch started screaming, and was then asphyxiated.

The family’s dog was also killed, while the baby was unharmed.

Mr Anagnostopoulos managed to call the police after loosening his bonds.

Investigators believe the killers knew the couple had savings hidden in the house, and kept the couple under surveillance before they struck.

Speaking to Greek television, Mr Anagnostopoulos 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.

“We begged them. We told them where the money was.”

The Greek government has offered a £260,000 reward for information in relation to the incident.

Public order minister Michalis Chrisochoidis said the killing was “particularly heinous”.

He added: “One rarely encounters such barbarity in Greece, in Greek society, even among criminals.”