After an occult ceremony to rescue his marriage went wrong, a husband was hacked to death with an axe.
After his wife Lyubov, 29, left him less than a year after their wedding, engineer Anton Shabanov, 33 (top left), turned to black magic.
According to the Russian Investigative Committee, he then engaged Nikolay Ivanov, a convicted fraudster, for an occult ritual that involved burying the couple’s belongings in a forest outside Astrakhan, Russia.
A court heard that as the two were performing the ceremony, Ivanov mocked Shabanov and humiliated his estranged wife.
A battle ensued, and Ivanov killed the groom with numerous strikes to the head and neck with an axe.
He departed the site after covering the deceased body with branches.
Ivanov (seen below) was apprehended by Russian police and confessed to killing Shabanov, who worked for Russian energy firm Lukoil.
A court has now jailed Ivanov, for nine and a half years, and ordered him to pay £20,700 in damages.
A friend of the dead man told 360TV: ‘They had split up.
‘They did not divorce but had been living separately.
‘Naturally he was upset, but I cannot imagine he would be involved in rites to bring her back.’
But the Russian Investigative committee said: ‘The court established that a local resident, wishing to restore relations with his wife, decided to resort to an occult ritual.
‘To perform the ceremony, he needed to bury their personal belongings in a deserted place outside the city.’
The statement said that ‘while digging a pit (Ivanov) spoke negatively about this ceremony and the victim’s wife, as a result of which a quarrel arose between the men.
‘The conflict escalated into a fight, during which (Ivanov) struck multiple blows with an axe to the head and neck of the Astrakhan resident, and then covered the body with branches and fled the scene of the crime’?????