“We ARE the ones living the life sentence, not him.”

Those are the words of a mother whose life has been turned upside down after her daughter was murdered by her estranged husband in Andover last year.

Lucy-Anne Rushton, known as Lucy, was found dead in her Suffolk Road flat during the early hours of Sunday, June 23, 2019.

Her estranged partner, Shaun Dyson, was charged with her murder and eventually pleaded guilty at Winchester Crown Court last December, when he was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum 17 years.

Myra Simpson, Lucy’s mother, says the year since her daughter’s death has been “horrendous” for the whole family, and now she feels she they are not being allowed to see two of Lucy’s children who have been separated from their brother.

“My voice isn’t being heard by social services,” she told the Advertiser.

“It’s ripped our family apart. It’s so sad, and as I said I didn’t even kiss my daughter goodbye.”

Myra recalls being unable to say a proper goodbye to Lucy. A second autopsy had been required, and by the time that was completed she was told that her body had become a health hazard. And nor have the family had some of Lucy’s personal belongings returned to them yet.

Myra was then required to uproot and move from her Basingstoke home to a flat in Whitchurch.

She had lined up a one-bed property in Basingstoke but was told that if she took that, she wouldn’t be able to look after Lucy’s eldest son. The switch also meant that Lucy’s son was required to start attending another school.

And now she says a change of social worker is preventing her and the rest of her family from seeing two of Lucy’s other children, who now live elsewhere in the county.

“I’m scared those children are going to think we don’t love them anymore,” she said, “because we used to have sleepovers and everything before what’s happened.”

“This new social worker is now saying whatever [arrangements] we had with the previous social worker is now different,” she added.

“It’s ‘inappropriate’ to see the children. That’s what social workers say. They are trying to say it’s overwhelming for the children.

“We’re not allowed to buy them presents. They can’t come to the house because aunts and uncles will be there. But they are used to seeing them.”

She added: “When they last came here, back in February, I made sure there was no one else here. But they were really upset because there was no one to play with.”

Myra says the children haven’t seen each other since that day, and that she feels that Covid-19 restrictions are now being used an extra “excuse” by social workers.

“But the government are saying we can come out now,” she said. “And I’ve told them I’m willing to travel to see them but they’ve said it’s not going to happen anytime soon.”

“We feel like we are being punished,” she added. “We did nothing wrong. And my grandson definitely did nothing wrong. But he’s not just lost his mum, he’s lost brothers and sisters.”

Myra also feels that social services should perhaps have intervened sooner than they did, adding: “The only reason nothing got done was because they were a married couple and had good jobs.”

Hampshire County Council, the authority that oversees social services, has been contacted for a comment.