Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Lucy-Anne Rushton murder: Husband jailed for 17 years

Lucy-Anne Rushton Image copyright Family handout
Image caption A post-mortem examination found Lucy-Anne Rushton had suffered 37 rib fractures

A jealous husband who ordered his estranged wife to swallow her wedding ring before violently murdering her has been jailed for a minimum of 17 years.

Shaun Dyson, 28, repeatedly stamped on 30-year-old Lucy-Anne Rushton at her home in Andover, Hampshire, on 23 June.

His trial at Winchester Crown Court heard there were children at the property during the "brutal" attack.

Dyson, of Anna Valley, originally pleaded guilty to manslaughter but admitted murder on Wednesday.

He was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 17 years.

Judge Akhlaq Choudhury QC told him: "Your jealous, controlling and violent nature which demanded that Lucy could not be with other men, all the while conducting a secret affair yourself, culminated that night in an attack that is breathtaking in its brutality.

"You kicked, punched and stamped on Lucy innumerable times whilst she was lying on the floor, unarmed, inebriated and half-naked."

Image copyright Hampshire Police
Image caption Shaun Dyson originally denied murdering Lucy-Anne Rushton

A post-mortem examination found mother-of-five Ms Rushton suffered 37 rib fractures, a broken breastbone and collapsed lungs.

The pair, who married in Gretna Green in 2010, endured a "toxic and volatile" relationship, the court heard.

Prosecutor Simon Jones said Dyson was enraged when Ms Rushton received a phone call from an ex-partner late on 22 June.

He told the court a child who was in the house later heard the defendant tell his victim to "swallow the ring because we're not together any more".

The child 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.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Rushton's mother Myra Simpson said: "As a family Shaun Dyson has destroyed us completely, completely broken every single one of us.

"Our lives will never be the same, he has ruined her children's lives forever, they no longer have a mum to watch them grow up, to just be there when they need her."

The court heard the child woke to the sound of "hitting noises" and shouting at about 04:00 on 23 June.

"This was a brutal, violent and unlawful attack," Mr Jones said.

"Lucy was killed by the defendant and the pathologist confirmed that this was a prolonged and very severe beating involving repeated stamping, jumping and kicking."

Image caption Ms Rushton was found at her home on 23 June

Dyson later made a "strikingly calm" 999 call before paramedics found Ms Rushton's lifeless body on a bed.

He then disappeared and messaged police, family and friends over a 10-hour period, telling them that his wife had drowned when he threw water over her to wake her up.

Police found him that afternoon hiding in a cupboard in a bedroom during a second "more thorough" search of the house.

Hampshire Police said it had apologised to Ms Rushton's family and had provided training to officers in managing crime scenes.

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