A Brazilian hitman got into a sticky situation after falling in love with the woman he was paid to assassinate, and decided to fake her death by using tomato sauce.

Carlos de Jesus was hired by Maria Simoes to kill her love rival. Simoes thought that her husband was having an affair with Iranildes Araujo and so decided that she would pay the equivalent of £345 and get De Jesus murder her.

De Jesus had second thoughts when he saw his victim and decided to confess to Araujo that he had been sent to harm her. The pair colluded to fake her death with a fairly convincing gruesome photograph of Araujo splattered and smeared with ketchup, gagged with a machete tucked under her arm and a torn blouse.

But days later Simoes was outraged when she saw the couple in kissing in public. Unusually, she decided the best course of action was to make a complaint to the police that she had been tricked out of her money.

All parties will now be charged by Brazilian police, the lovers for extortion and Simoes for threatening to kill.

“In eight years of policing I’ve never heard anything like it.” the local Sheriff Marconi Lima told reporters.