Great Britain

Jealous husband, 28, admits murdering wife, 30, he told to swallow her wedding ring before beating her to death at home

A "jealous and violent" husband forced his estranged wife to swallow her wedding ring before beating her to death in a brutal attack.

Shaun Dyson, 28, murdered Lucy-Anne Rushton, 30, in the early hours of June 23 by repeatedly jumping or stamping on her at their home in Andover, Hampshire, while children were in the house.

A post-mortem examination found Ms Rushton had suffered 37 broken ribs, a broken breastbone and collapsed lungs.

Dyson denied her murder but changed his plea today halfway through a two-week trial.

The couple got together in 2010 and married four years later but split at the start of this year.

Simon Jones, prosecuting, told Winchester Crown Court Ms Rushton became the victim of a "history of domestic violence".

Mr Jones said: "The defendant's and Lucy's relationship is probably best described as toxic.

"Lucy was killed by the defendant; she was the victim of a prolonged and very severe beating, culminating in repeated stamping or jumping or both on her chest and while she was laid on her back."

He continued: "There was no justification for blow after blow, kick after kick, stamp after stamp on Lucy. This was borne out of a jealous rage in a violent man."

Mr Jones said Dyson, who had already hit Ms Rushton on the evening before she died, had become "enraged" by a phone call she received from a former lover late on June 22.

He said a child witness had seen the defendant say to Ms Rushton in the early hours of June 23: "Swallow the ring because we are not together any more."

He added the witness said Ms Rushton had put the ring in her mouth but had not swallowed it because they had seen it on the stairs later, where it was found.

Mr Jones said the child witness had woken up again to see Dyson hitting Ms Rushton and she had a "sad voice" while the defendant was in a "mean mood".

Mr Dyson made a "strikingly calm" 999 call at 5.17am and was asked by an ambulance call handler whether he was performing CPR.

He replied: "I was, but not right now, no, because I [have] been asleep."

Paramedics arrived to find Ms Rushton's lifeless naked body on a bed.

Mr Dyson then disappeared and messaged police, family and friends over a period of 10 hours, telling them that his wife had drowned when he threw water over her to wake her up.
Ms Rushton had told members of her family in the months before she died that she feared Dyson would murder her.

The prosecutor added: "She was convinced that he was going to do something to her and if he couldn't have her, no-one could."

Ms Rushton had also raised concerns about the defendant and that he "had a bag ready with a change of clothes and weapons".

The jury was shown CCTV footage of the defendant striking and spitting at Ms Rushton in a hotel corridor in Bournemouth in September 2018.

However, she denied she had been assaulted when police arrived 15 minutes later, the prosecutor said.

Dyson, of Andover, Hants, will be sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on Friday.

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