Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Lucy-Anne Rushton death: Child 'heard shouting and hitting'

Lucy-Anne Rushton Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Lucy-Anne Rushton's relationship with her husband became "toxic" and "volatile", a court heard

A child woke up to hear a man beating up his estranged wife on the night he is accused of murdering her, a court has heard.

Shaun Dyson is alleged to have killed Lucy-Anne Rushton by repeatedly stamping or jumping on her at her home in Andover, Hampshire, in June.

Jurors have previously heard he ordered her to swallow her wedding ring after one of her former partners phoned her.

Mr Dyson, 28, admits manslaughter but denies murder.

The child witness, who cannot be named because of their age, said in a video interview shown to Winchester Crown Court that they woke up at 04:00.

They said: "I woke up to loud noises and hitting. I did hear shouting. He was in a mean mood because I know what he is like when he is mean, so I know he was mean."

Image caption Ms Rushton was found at her home shortly before 05:30 BST on 23 June

They added Ms Rushton, 30, was also speaking in her "sad voice".

The child said they were also woken up at 03:00 by "shouting" and they heard Mr Dyson order Ms Rushton to swallow her wedding ring.

They said he said: "Swallow the ring because we are not together."

Ms Rushton had put the ring in her mouth but had not swallowed it because the child had seen it on the stairs later, where it was found, jurors have been told.

The child said they later heard Mr Dyson say Ms Rushton was not breathing and had thrown a jug of water in her face to try to wake her up.

The trial has already heard Mr Dyson claimed his wife had drowned when he threw the water over her and said marks on her neck were from rough sex.

A post-mortem examination found she had suffered 37 rib fractures, a broken breastbone and collapsed lungs.

The child said when they had gone to a shop the evening before her death, Mr Dyson had punched Ms Rushton after she had slapped him in the car.

Simon Jones, prosecuting, told jurors the pair, who married in Gretna Green in 2014, had a "toxic" and "volatile" relationship.

The trial continues.

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