A court in Germany has heard a chilling and lurid account of the death of a man at the hands of satanists
, who say they were acting on the Devil's orders.
Daniel Ruda, 26, and his wife Manuela, 23, admit killing Frank Haagen, aged 33, with hammer blows and 66 knife stabs in July last year, but deny responsibility for the act.
"I got the order to sacrifice a human for Satan," Daniel said in a statement read out by his lawyer to the court in Bochum, near Dortmund.
Mrs Ruda said: "It was not murder. We are not murderers. It was the execution of an order.
"Satan ordered us to. We had to comply. It was not something bad. It simply had to be."
Defence lawyers argue that they are mentally disturbed.
After killing Mr Haagen, the couple cut an occult star on his stomach, drank his blood from a bowl and had sex in a coffin in which Mrs Ruda usually slept.
Mr Haagen's mutilated and partially decomposed body was found in their flat.
It had a scalpel protruding from his stomach, and a pentagram
, the sign of the Devil, carved into his chest.
Mrs Ruda appeared at the court in gothic
clothing, her head partly shaved to reveal an inverted crucifix and a target tattooed on her scull.
She said she had developed her taste for vampirism
in the UK, where she spent time in London and Scotland.
"We drank blood together, from willing donors. I also slept on graves and even allowed myself to be buried in a grave to test the feeling," she said.
"I signed my soul to Satan two-and-a-half years ago."
The defence argues that they should be given lenient sentences, on the grounds of mental instability.
Several witnesses have testified that the couple suffered from personality disorders.
The court is due to reach a decision on 28 January.
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