BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's June Kelly
"Jane Andrews gave her account of her boyfriend's last moments alive"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 2 May, 2001, 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK
Aide's boyfriend 'sent explicit e-mails'
Jane Andrews
Jane Andrews said she was devoted to Thomas Cressman
The partner of former royal aide Jane Andrews spent several months exchanging a series of explicit e-mails with another woman before his death, a court has heard.

It is alleged Thomas Cressman, 39, who was found stabbed to death at his home in Fulham last September sent numerous e-mails containing lurid sexual details to a woman in America named Deborah.

A jury at the Old Bailey heard that the correspondence was not discovered until after Mr Cressman's death.

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 by hitting him over the head with a cricket bat and then stabbing him in the chest with an 8in kitchen knife.

Murder victim Thomas Cressman
Thomas Cressman: Found stabbed at home

It is alleged she flew into a jealous rage before attacking him, but she claims she was acting in self-defence following a series of vicious arguments between the pair.

On Wednesday, the 10th day of her murder trial at the Old Bailey, Ms Andrews told the jury of 10 women and two men that Mr Cressman had raped her the day before his death after she said she was leaving him.

She said the couple had rowed after Mr Cressman, known to his friends as Tommy, had refused to see a therapist despite admitting he needed help for sexual and commitment problems and his "black moods".

Kitchen knife

Ms Andrews has repeatedly denied she intended to murder her boyfriend, to whom she was "devoted".

She told the court how on the night of the alleged attack she had taken a cricket bat and a kitchen knife to bed because Mr Cressman had been attacking her.

She said during yet another altercation he had fallen on top of her while she was holding the knife.

Ms Andrews said he was kneeling on the bed above her holding her hair and trying to hit her.

"I just picked it up because I didn't want him to come anywhere near me," she said.

The next thing I knew he was on top of me, it happened. We came together and the next thing I knew he was on top of me

Jane Andrews
She said she had no chance to tell him she was holding the knife before he collapsed on top of her.

"The next thing I knew he was on top of me, it happened. We came together and the next thing I knew he was on top of me."

Asked by defending counsel John Kelsey-Fry QC if she had known the knife had gone into Mr Cressman she said yes, but she denied stabbing him or intending that the knife should go into him.

Ms Andrews admitted she knew Mr Cressman was dead before she left their home, although she initially told police she had had no idea what had happened.

She told the court she fled the scene in a panic, got into her car and "drove and drove and drove".

The court was told she began sending a series of text messages to her friends because she did not think anyone would believe her story.

Asked again if she had tried to kill Mr Cressman she said: "No not at all".

She was found the following week having taken an overdose of pain killers in her VW Polo in a lay-by in Cornwall.

After being treated in hospital, she was taken to London to be questioned by police.

The trial continues.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories