A ‘jealous and violent’ man told his estranged wife to swallow her wedding ring before beating her to death in a ‘brutal’ attack while children were in the house, a court has heard.
Shaun Dyson, 28, is accused of the murder of Lucy-Anne Rushton, 30, in the early hours of June 23 by repeatedly jumping or stamping on her at their home in Andover, Hampshire.
He allegedly killed her in a ‘prolonged and very severe’ attack six months after their ‘toxic’ relationship ended. He denies her murder.
Ms Rushton had confided in loved ones about the couple’s ‘volatile’ relationship and was convinced Dyson would end up killing her.
She had been dead for ‘some time’ at her home Dyson decided to dial 999, claiming Ms Rushton had drowned.
Lucy-Anne Rushton, 30, was found dead in her home on June 23 this year after suffering multiple injuries
Ms Rushton embracing her husband following their wedding in Gretna Green, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
The couple – who got together in 2010 and married four years later after eloping to Gretna Green – frequently argued but had split by the beginning of this year.
Family and friends pleaded with Ms Rushton to leave Dyson sooner, but she refused and declared ‘she loved him’, Winchester Crown Court heard today.
Simon Jones, prosecuting, told Winchester Crown Court that 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.’
Shaun Dyson, 28, is accused of the murder of Lucy-Anne Rushton, 30, in the early hours of June 23 by repeatedly jumping or stamping on her at their home in Andover, Hampshire
Tributes outside the family home. The couple – who got together in 2010 and married four years later after eloping to Gretna Green – frequently argued but had split by the beginning of this year
Mr Jones said that Dyson, who had already hit Ms Rushton on the evening before she died, had become ‘enraged’ by a phone call she received from a man she had been in a relationship with.
He said that a child witness had seen the defendant say to Ms Rushton in the early hours: ‘Swallow the ring because we are not together any more.’
He added that 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 Jones said Ms Rushton had told members of her family in the months before she died that she feared Dyson would murder her.
Flowers outside the family home. Simon Jones, prosecuting, told Winchester Crown Court that Ms Rushton became the victim of a ‘history of domestic violence’
The jury was also shown CCTV footage of the defendant striking and spitting at Ms Rushton in a hotel corridor in Bournemouth in September 2018
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.’
Mr Jones said that, in February, Ms Rushton had also raised concerns about the defendant and that he ‘had a bag ready with a change of clothes and weapons’.
He said Ms Rushton’s mother had also witnessed attacks by Dyson, including over Facetime.
Mr Jones continued: ‘The fact that Lucy had concerns for her life shortly before she was killed is a significant indication of the state of the relationship and the concern Lucy had of the defendant, who could turn to violence on the most extreme scale with the most extreme consequences.’
He added: ‘It’s not disputed the defendant killed Lucy. We say what happened that night was not a momentary loss of control but the culmination of previous episodes of violence that had preceded that night.’
The jury was shown CCTV footage of the defendant striking and spitting at Ms Rushton in a hotel corridor in Bournemouth in September 2018.
Dyson denies murder and the trial continues.