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The BBC's Robert Hall
reports on the verdict
 real 56k

Harry Cressman
"I never thought I'd bury my child"
 real 28k

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Dickie
"Jane Andrew's tried to sully the good character of the man she murdered"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
Ex royal aide found guilty of murder
Jane Andrews and Tommy Cressman
Jane Andrews beat and stabbed Tom Cressman
The Duchess of York's former aide Jane Andrews has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of murdering her boyfriend.

Andrews, 34, had denied murdering Tom Cressman, 39, in bed at their 400,000 home in Fulham, west London, in the early hours of 17 September last year.

Her solicitor Catherine Mather said her client was "devastated" by the verdict and would be considering an appeal.

Andrews' lawyers argued she was defending herself after Mr Cressman raped and threatened to kill her, and that he fell on the knife she was holding.


In killing the man you loved you ended his life and ruined your own

Judge Michael Hyam
But the jury of 10 women and two men at the Old Bailey did not believe her and found by a majority of 11-1 that she had killed her lover in a jealous rage after he refused to marry her.

Mr Cressman's parents, who were in court, gasped as the verdict was read out.

Andrews hit Mr Cressman on the head with a cricket bat and stabbed him with a kitchen knife. He died within minutes from his wounds.

Several days after the discovery of his body, Ms Andrews was found slumped in her car in Cornwall after taking an overdose of painkillers.

'Bitterness'

During the trial the jury heard evidence from a psychiatrist that Andrews, who was sacked as the Duchess of York's personal dresser in 1997, had a history of depression and severe mood swings.

Judge Michael Hyam said he had to hand down a life sentence, telling Andrews she had remorselessly killed an unarmed man.

"In killing the man you loved you ended his life and ruined your own.

"It is evident that you made your attack on him when you were consumed with anger and bitterness. Nothing could justify what you did.

'Brutal attack'

"It was a brutal attack and even if you felt yourself wronged and you were emotionally vulnerable, you were attacking an unarmed man who had possibly been asleep only a few minutes before you attacked him."

"After you had struck him, first with a cricket bat and then stabbed him with a knife, you left him to die without remorse.


All of us who loved him will remember him with pride

Cressman family
"It is true that your flight was obviously unprepared and that the attack took place, perhaps only with a few minutes premeditation.

But he added: "As your counsel recognises there is only one sentence which I can place upon you and that is one of life imprisonment."

Andrews, originally from Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, looked up at her parents before she was led away.

In a statement, Mr Cressman's family - who are American - said their faith in British justice had been rewarded.

"Tom was a decent man - a caring and devoted son, brother, uncle, cousin, godfather and friend.

"All of us who loved him will remember him with pride," they said.

At a news conference, Mr Cressman's father, Harry, said he was thankful that Andrews' attempts to destroy his son's reputation had failed.

The worst part of the trial was hearing a description of how Andrews battered and stabbed him to death, he said, adding: "What could be worse for any father?"

'Overwhelming evidence'

Speaking outside the Old Bailey, Detective Chief Inspector Jim Dickie, who was in charge of the case, said he was pleased with the result.

"Our belief that this was a murder has been vindicated.

"I thank the jury for reaching the only possible decision in my view.

"The evidence was overwhelming throughout the case, despite the fact that Jane Andrews tried to sully the good character of the man she murdered."

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