A JEALOUS husband “brutally” beat his estranged wife to death after hearing her talk on the phone to her new lover, a court heard today.

Shaun Dyson demanded Lucy-Anne Rushton swallow her wedding ring before launching a murderous assault on her in her home, jurors were told.

He allegedly repeatedly stamped and jumped on the 30-year-old's body in a “prolonged and very severe” attack six months after their “toxic” relationship ended.

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 in Suffolk Road, Andover, before 28-year-old Dyson decided to dial 999, claiming Ms Rushton had drowned.

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.

Her mother, Myra Simpson, had seen her daughter being attacked by Dyson during a FaceTime call - with the defendant later threatening to kill his victim if family called the police.

But officers were never made aware of the history of the alleged domestic violence until after Ms Rushton's death.

Opening the case today, prosecutor Simon Jones said: "Lucy-Anne Rushton was 30 years of age when the prosecution say she was murdered in her home in the early hours of Sunday, June 23.

"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 a repeated stamping or jumping, or both, on her chest and belly, while she was lying on her back.

"This was a brutal, violent and unlawful attack by this man.

"Whatever had gone on before in their relationship, whatever had gone on that night, we say there was simply no justification for the defendant raising blow upon blow on Lucy.

"We say this was borne out of a jealous rage by a violent man."

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The pair were at Ms Rushton's home on the evening of June 22 when Dyson became “enraged” after she spoke on the phone to a man she had been sleeping with.

A child in the house later heard Dyson telling Ms Rushton to swallow her wedding ring because the couple “were not together anymore” - but the victim pretended and put it in her mouth.

The child was then woken up in the early hours of the morning by “loud noises” and heard Dyson hitting Ms Rushton.

She also saw the defendant fill a jug of water and splash it over the woman, the jury was told.

The victim said “owh” in a “sad voice” and Dyson was in a “mean mood”, the child recalled.

Neighbours were also woken by screaming, with one claiming she heard, “no, no” before “it went very quiet”.

Prosecutors allege Dyson murdered Ms Rushton between 4am and 5.50am on June 23 before calling emergency services to say the woman was 'not breathing'.

On a 999 call played to the court, Dyson said: "I threw some water on her to wake her up and she's not waking up."

He then shouted “Lucy” before declaring “she's going different colours now”.

Mr Jones said: "The prosecution suggest that the defendant is strikingly calm at the beginning of the call.

"There is little urgency or panic in his voice. Lucy had been dead for some time before the defendant called for an ambulance."

Mr Jones added: "Since Lucy's death, a history of domestic violence against Lucy has been disclosed by family and friends.

"The true nature of this was not known to the police.

"Myra Simpson called the defendant's employer telling them they employed a violent wife beater."

Dyson, of Anna Valley, denies murder. The trial continues.