A “jealous and violent” man told his estranged wife to swallow her wedding ring before beating her to death in a “brutal” attack, 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, 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 admits Ms Rushton’s manslaughter but denies her murder.
Simon Jones, prosecuting, told Winchester Crown Court the pair had married in 2010 having eloped to Gretna Green but 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”.
The jury heard 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, the court heard.
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, Mr Jones said.
He also said he feared he would go to jail because she had marks on her neck, which he explained were from rough sex, the prosecutor added.
BAG WITH CLOTHES AND WEAPONS
Mr Jones said 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.”
Mr Jones said, 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.”
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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.
However, she denied she had been assaulted when police arrived 15 minutes later, the prosecutor said.
Mr Jones said police were never aware of the couple’s violent history.
Dyson, of Andover, Hampshire, denies murder and the trial continues.