A man tried to force his wife to swallow her wedding ring before kicking her to death in 'jealous rage'

Friday, 20th December 2019, 1:46 pm
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 1:47 pm
Lucy-Anne Rushton was murdered by her estranged husband, Shaun Dyson (Photo: Hampshire Police)

A man pleaded guilty to kicking and stamping his estranged wife to death in a "jealous rage", according to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

During the two week long trial at Winchester Crown Court, a child witness described how the defendant had attempted to force the victim into swallowing her wedding ring.

37 broken ribs and collapsed lungs

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The jury was told that 28 year old Shaun Dyson murdered Lucy-Anne Rushton (30) in the early hours of 23 June 2019 by repeatedly jumping or stamping on her. Children were present at the property when the fatal attack took place.

Ms Rushton was found to have sustained 37 broken ribs, and also had a fractured breastbone and collapsed lungs. This was not the first time Dyson had acted violently towards the victim, according to prosecutor, Simon Jones, who described the couple's relationship as "toxic".

The prosecution explained that Dyson had become "enraged" by a phone call Ms Rushton received form a former romantic partner.

"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," said Mr Jones.

'A brutal and extremely violent attack'

During the trial, the jury was shown CCTV footage from September 2018 of Dyson repeatedly spitting on Ms Rushton, as well as kicking and punching her head into a wall.

"This was a brutal and extremely violent attack triggered by the jealousy of a man who had attacked her in the past," commented Sharon Douglass, of the CPS.

"The pattern, number and level of injuries show that Dyson intended to kill Lucy, or at the very least, cause her really serious harm."

'Concerns for her life months before the attack'

The court heard that Ms Rushton's mother witnessed previous violent attacks from the defendant on Ms Rushton. Four months prior to her death, the victim raised concerns about her killer, voicing her belief that he "had a bag ready with a change of clothes and weapons".

"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," said Mr Jones.

Giving evidence, the defendant said, "I feel broken, ashamed, devastated for Lucy, heartbroken for our family. It's been six months and it doesn't feel real."

He will be sentenced on Friday, December 20.