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A man who sought help from a witch doctor to save his troubled marriage was brutally murder during an occult ritual.
Anton Shabanov, 33, had asked a witch doctor for help after his 29-year-old wife Lyubov split from him less than one year after they were married.
Turning to Nikolay Ivanov, 32, who seemingly promised to save the marriage, he took park in a ritual involving the burial of items belonging to him and his now-estranged wife.
He was told by Ivanov, who is now known to be a convicted fraudster, to bury them outside of the Russian city they lived in.
However, while digging a hole to bury the items in, the “witch doctor” started mocking Shabanov, and insulted the estranged wife, a court heard this week.
A fight ensured, and Ivanov used an axe he had brought with to strike he love-sick Shabanov in the head and neck multiple times, killing him in the process.
Having covered the body with some nearby branches and leaves from the forest floor, he fled the scene but was later detained by police.
Photos from the scene showed the exact location where the crime took place, and featured a large pile of branches and dead leaves where the body was found on the ground, reports the Daily Mail.
The murder weapon was also retrieved at the scene, near where to body was found.
He confessed to the killing, and was sentenced for just nine-and-a-half-years.
He was also ordered to pay £20,700 in damages.
According to local news reports, a friend of the victim told Russia's 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.”
Privolzhsky District Court in Astrakhan sentenced the man to serve his prison term at a "strict regime" labor camp.
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