A husband has been hacked to death with an axe after an occult ritual to save his marriage went wrong.
Anton Shabanov, 33 (top left), an engineer, turned to black magic after his wife Lyubov, 29(top right), left him less than a year after their wedding.
He then hired convicted fraudster, Nikolay Ivanov, 32, for an occult ritual that involved burying the couple’s possessions in a forest near Astrakhan, Russia according to the Russian Investigative Committee.
As the pair performed the ritual, Ivanov mocked Shabanov and insulted his estranged wife, a court heard.
A fight then erupted, and Ivanov used an axe to strike multiple blows to the groom’s head and neck, killing him.
He covered the lifeless body with branches and fled the scene.
Russian Police arrested Ivanov (pictured below) and he confessed to killing Shabanov, who worked for Russian energy giant 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