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Thursday, 26 April, 2001, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Aide's boyfriend's death 'not instant'
Jane Andrews
Jane Andrews denies murdering her lover
The partner of former royal aide Jane Andrews could have survived for several minutes after being stabbed in the chest with an eight-inch kitchen knife, a court has heard.

Ms Andrews, 34, who worked as a dresser and personal assistant to the Duchess of York for nine years until 1997, denies murdering Thomas Cressman, the son of a millionaire, in his Fulham home last September.

Murder victim Thomas Cressman
Thomas Cressman: Found stabbed at home
It is alleged Mr Cressman, 39, died after Ms Andrews hit him with a cricket bat and then stabbed him in the chest with an 8in kitchen knife.

Pathologist Dr Iain West, who examined Mr Cressman's body, concluded that the carving knife had cut through his rib-cage, into the lung and pierced the lining of the heart, damaging vital blood vessels.

He said: "The damage to the right lung and blood vessels was such that the deceased would not necessarily have collapsed as soon as he was stabbed, but could have been capable of activity which could have extended for several minutes."

Ms Andrews is accused of having stabbed Mr Cressman in revenge after he had refused to marry her.

Firm grip

The murder trial at the Old Bailey had earlier heard that Mr Cressman, clad in just a pair of blue boxer shorts and wearing a Rolex watch, had managed to pull the knife from his body before he died.

Dr West was too ill to attend court but his findings, presented by Dr Nathaniel Carey, revealed the knife, which had been inserted, partially removed and inserted again in a stabbing and cutting action, would have to have been held firmly by someone to account for Mr Cressman's injuries.

He also said a bruise to Mr Cressman's head was consistent with him having been struck with a cricket-bat.

Earlier the jury was told that Mr Cressman had called 999 the day before his death because he and Ms Andrews were arguing and he was afraid someone was going to get hurt.

He told the operator: "I would like the police to come and split us up...I would like someone to stop us hurting each other. If you don't have somebody here soon somebody is."

But the operator said there was nothing police could do until a crime was committed.

Within 24 hours, on Sunday 17 September, Mr Cressman was dead.

The trial continues.

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