Runaway killer 'found with members of family'

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The Independent Online

Former royal aide Jane Andrews was found in a hotel with her family early today after spending two days on the run from an open prison, reports said.

Andrews, 42, who was jailed for life after bludgeoning and stabbing to death her boyfriend when he refused to marry her, was found at the Premier Inn in Hollingbourne, near Maidstone, Kent, just a few miles from where she was being held at East Sutton Park open prison.

A spokeswoman for Kent Police said she was with three people "known to her" but would not confirm whether they were members of her family.

She said they were not thought to have played a role in her escape.

Police believe she had been sleeping rough since absconding from the jail on Sunday evening, and had only been in the hotel for a short time before she was found by officers.

The spokeswoman said: "Kent Police can confirm officers attended the Premier Inn at the M20 junction 8 motorway services shortly after 3am today.

"Jane Andrews was found in a room in the hotel, and was in the company of three people who are known to her.

"Ms Andrews was arrested for absconding from East Sutton Park prison and taken into custody.

"The people she was with were not arrested but have all been spoken to by police officers."

Her discovery followed a large search for the former dresser to the Duchess of York, who was reported missing after she failed to attend a roll-call on Sunday evening.

She was convicted in 2001 of murdering wealthy businessman Tom Cressman at the house they shared in Fulham, south west London.

She was ordered to serve a minimum of 12 years in jail after a jury at the Old Bailey accepted the prosecution case that she killed him in revenge because he refused to marry her.

Police said Andrews had been medically checked and her care and future detention had now been handed back to the Prison Service.

A Prison Service spokesman confirmed she would now be placed in a closed prison.

He said re-captured absconders were returned to a more secure closed prison where they faced either a criminal prosecution for escaping or an internal adjudication in jail in front of a visiting judge.

In both cases they could receive additional time in prison on top of their existing sentence.

The family of her victim, Tom Cressman, condemned the decision to allow her to be kept in an open prison in the first place, only eight years and a half years into her sentence.

And they demanded that her eligibility for release on parole in 2012 now be re-examined, adding that the affair exposed "incompetence" in the Ministry of Justice.

Mr Cressman's brother, Rick Cressman, 58, said: "She must go back to a closed prison, and this should have an effect on her future parole situation. That date should now be questioned.

"I would like to meet Jack Straw because I think there are deeper questions and issues which come out of this. For instance, why was she in an open prison after just eight and a half years? What are we playing at?

"I think Mr Straw has an issue there and I think there are issues surrounding the sheer competence and control of people in open prisons.

"Too much trust is being shown to people who, quite frankly, shouldn't have it in the first place and have not earned it. Jack Straw should be hanging his head in shame. It's absolutely appalling."

Mr Cressman, the owner of a hotel near Solihull, West Midlands, expressed astonishment that Andrews was being kept in an open prison near where his sister and brother-in-law live.

And he asked to know why closer attention was not paid to her after she was admitted to hospital and returned to the prison following a paracetamol overdose last week.