A British millionaire was "murdered" on his first wedding anniversary by a hit-and-run driver hired by his Ukrainian internet bride, a coroner was told.
IT consultant Barry Pring's body was cut in two by a speeding car after his wife left him trying to wave down a taxi on a dark and snowy dual carriageway in 2008.
Coroner Dr Elizabeth Earland recorded a verdict of unlawful killing at his inquest in Exeter.
Lawyer Peter Clifford, Mr Pring's friend and who had been his best man at his Kiev wedding a year earlier, said Barry had been worried his wife Anna Ziuzina, might be "a gold digger".
He told the coroner: "There is no reasonable doubt in my mind that Barry was murdered. Nor is there any reasonable doubt in my mind that she arranged or was complicit in his murder.
"She played a central role in the events on the night concerned."
Mr Clifford also said that a friend of Anna told him at the couple's wedding: "Barry's got what he wanted, now it's for Anna to get what she wants."
Dr Earland said she had made "strenuous efforts" to summon Ms Ziuzina, also known as Julianna Moore, to attend the inquest, but without success.
Three times near the start of the hearing the coroner's officer called out Ms Ziuzina's name without response.
In a statement to the coroner Ms Ziuzina said she had already been interviewed three times by Ukrainian police and had nothing new to say.
In statements read to the hearing Mr Pring's family said they were surprised when he announced, at the age of 46, that he was suddenly settling down after dating many women.
He said his fiancee was an English teacher, but he later found out she was a stripper and a pole dancer.
His family were not invited to the Kiev register office wedding in 2007 and were puzzled that she stayed in Kiev in a rented flat, while Mr Pring returned to live and work in London.
When Ms Ziuzina finally visited the family in Devon Mr Pring's mother Irene said she found her distant, lazy and uncaring towards her son.
His younger brother Shaughan said he discovered after his death that she had regularly demanded money from Mr Pring and found evidence she had been having an affair with a Ukrainian man.
He said : "I believe she was only interested in Barry for his money and saw marriage as a way of improving her life. He was besotted with her, but frustrated by their distant relationship."
Ms Ziuzina told Ukrainain police she had invited her husband to Kiev to celebrate their first wedding anniversary and her birthday and had chosen a traditional restaurant beside a dual carriageway 16 miles from the city centre.
After a meal, at which they had drunk wine and vodka, she called a cab to take them back to their Kiev apartment, but was told it would take 40 minutes to get there.
Together they climbed over a safety barrier onto the dual carriageway to flag down a taxi, but she realised she had left a glove in the restaurant and as she turned away she heard a bang and realised her husband had been hit by a vehicle.
Initially local police treated it as an accident, but later it became a murder investigation, though it is still unsolved, the inquest was told.
The driver was never identified, but police found a number plate that had been stolen from a car parked near Ms Ziuzina's Kiev flat.
The vehicle had not braked, had no lights on and the impact sent Mr Pring's body 30 metres back across the safety barrier. Witnesses prevented Ms Ziuzina from seeing her husband's injuries.
Freelance journalist Graham Phillips told the coroner that after Ukrainian police interviewed Ms Ziuzina they bugged her phone. When she rang her mother Olga she told her the police wanted her to name the car driver.
Her mother immediately hung up.
Det Constable Jonathan Watts, of Devon and Cornwall police, said he had tried to speak to Ms Ziuzina but she had refused.
His force has no jurisdiction in a Ukrainian case, but liaised with Kiev police and posed questions about the circumstances of Mr Pring's death.
The case had been discussed at high inter-government level, he said.
A Sky News investigation found Ms Ziuzina living in London, pregnant and with a new, wealthy British partner, four years ago.
She refused to be interviewed and is now thought to be living abroad.
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