Insecure royal aide craved marriage

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The Independent Online

Insecure and possessive, Jane Andrews murdered her boyfriend when he refused to marry her.

The Duchess of York's former aide is a jealous and highly-strung woman who craved marriage and children.

When her boyfriend Tommy Cressman said he would not marry her, she struck him on the head with his cricket bat and then stabbed him in the chest with a kitchen knife in revenge.

Mr Cressman, 39, a wealthy businessman, was found dead on his bed in the house they shared in The Maltings, Fulham, west London, and Andrews went on the run for four days.

Just hours before he was killed in the early hours of September 17 2000, Mr Cressman phoned police to ask officers to be sent to his house, saying, "I'm afraid we might hurt each other".

Andrews was eventually ordered to serve a minimum of 12 years in jail after being found guilty of murder by a jury at the Old Bailey in May 2001.

Born in Cleethorpes, near Grimsby, as the daughter of David, a carpenter, and June, a social worker, her break from relatively humble origins came at the age of 21 when she answered an advert in society magazine The Lady for a personal dresser.

It was only during the job interview that she realised her employer would be the Duchess of York and she landed her dream job.

During her time as the royal aide she met her first husband, Christopher Dunn-Butler, who also worked for Sarah Ferguson. The pair married in 1989, but she divorced the computer expert five years later citing "pressures of work".

Nine years after starting her dream job, Andrews was made redundant, reportedly as part of a cost-cutting exercise, in 1997.

Observers said she was left heartbroken and, at the time of her trial, she admitted she had still not got over losing her job three years earlier.

But a year after being made redundant, Andrews met Mr Cressman - the ultimate bachelor, sexually adventurous with a love of fast cars, vintage boats and the single life - at a New Year's Eve party.

His late father, former Aston Villa director Harry Cressman, told reporters at the time of the trial: "She had obviously lived a high life for quite a number of years in the royal household.

"I think she looked upon Tom as someone who couldn't replace that, but would do his damnedest to bring her a little near to it again."

Lucinda Ellery-Sharp, a close friend of the couple, said at the time that Andrews flew into a "blinding rage" when Mr Cressman was blunt about not wanting to marry her.

Following his murder, Andrews spent her time on the run texting her friends, pretending not to know what had happened to the man she had killed and making up stories about an anonymous blackmailer.

The Duchess of York left her a message to come forward.

When she was found in her car in a lay-by in Cornwall, she had taken an overdose of painkillers and told police she panicked after killing her boyfriend during a struggle in self-defence.

But the jury dismissed her claims.

She appealed against her murder conviction in 2003 on the grounds that she had been sexually abused by her brother as a child, which he vehemently denied.

She said the trauma damaged her personality and meant that she was not guilty of murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

This was dismissed by the Court of Appeal, along with claims that Mr Cressman had domestically abused and raped her.

The 40-year-old failed to return to East Sutton Park prison in Kent on Sunday night, after only recently being moved there. Sources confirmed she took a paracetamol overdose last week, for which she needed hospital treatment.