Jealous lover strangled boy, 3, because his mum refused to rekindle romance

A jealous lover strangled the three-year-old son of his ex-partner after she refused to rekindle their romance.

Igentai Sopyzhanov, 23, was told he would never be released from jail after being convicted by a court in Kazakhstan over the sickening killing of toddler Maksim Garifulin.

Maksim's devastated mother demanded the death penalty for her son's killer and said that he should serve a life of hard labour while behind bars.

Footage from the court showed Sopyzhanov trying to slice his neck in a court cage after the lengthy jail sentence was read out.

Sopyzhanov and Nika Vasilyeva, 22, were school sweethearts but she broke up with him on the advice of her aunt after he became increasingly violent.


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He brutally axed the aunt to death in a fit of rage which earned him a nine year jail sentence, but was paroled after just four years for good behaviour.

After his release, Sopyzhanov found Nika when she went shopping and demanded she resume their relationship or face further violence.

In a spiteful act of revenge, he grabbed the helpless boy from her arms then strangled the toddler before dumping his remains in woodland.



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A three day search involving hundreds of police, soldiers and volunteers led to the boy’s body being discovered.

Sopyzhanov was later detained at the railway station in Karaganda.

An appeal court in in the city upheld a life sentence – under which he will never be released – for the killer.

It is the longest such jail term for a child killer ever handed down in the country after new stricter laws.


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"I would like him to be shot, but that would be too lenient a punishment for him," said his ex-girlfriend.

When he was originally sentenced to life, a video shows how he tried to cut his throat in a court cage, saying his death should be blamed on the detective who had investigated him.

But the child killer was quickly overpowered by police and taken to the cells.


Nika Vasilyeva has demanded that in his maximum security jail he is forced to to undertake hard labour.

"He should not just drink, eat and sleep at the expense of the state, but work,” she demanded.

She told how she first started a relationship with him when she was 15, and believed they would marry.

"Everything was fine but after a while he suddenly changed," she said.

"He became aggressive."

She said of her murdered boy: "My son was an amazing child. He loved fishing with me…

"He had just started to talk properly.

“For every mother her child is beautiful and amazing, but my baby was the best.”

Sopyzhanov had called the sentence as “too severe” but his appeal was overturned.

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