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Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Jealousy drove lover to kill

Andrews expected Tom Cressman to propose to her
By the BBC's Susanna Reid at the Old Bailey

The Duchess of York's former assistant was an insecure and possessive woman who murdered her boyfriend because he refused to marry her.

Jealous and highly strung, Jane Andrews craved marriage and children.

Her lover, Tom Cressman, was a wealthy businessman who loved fast cars, vintage boats, and the single life.

He was sexually adventurous and exchanged fantasies by e-mail with another woman.


Ultimately I think she felt so let down that she went into a blinding rage

Lucinda Ellery-Sharp, a close friend of the couple

The former racing driver Sir Stirling Moss, a long-time friend of the Cressman family, said: "Tom was a bachelor who enjoyed his freedom.

"It would surprise me if he wanted to marry anybody,"

According to his mother, Barbara Cressman, "Jane was very jealous about Tom".

"On one occasion at a cocktail party, an old friend who'd known him for 25 years came up to him and asked if he was married.

A court appearance
Andrews lied in court about the relationship
"He said no and she said 'oh good - I want to get married!'. Jane rushed across the room and grabbed him by the arm and said 'he's mine'."

But it finally became clear to Andrews that Tom did not want to marry her.

She had expected a marriage proposal while they were on holiday in the South of France - and when it didn't come, she snapped.

"Jane asked Tom a blunt question about marriage," said Lucinda Ellery-Sharp, a close friend of the couple.

"And Tom gave her a blunt answer. He didn't want a family with Jane because he thought she was unstable.

"Ultimately I think she felt so let down that she went into a blinding rage."

Mood swings

The couple had always rowed. Tom Cressman had complained about her jealousy, possessiveness and mood swings.

Hours before he died, Tom phoned the police and asked officers to come to the house.

"I'm afraid we might hurt each other," he said.

That night he was murdered.

Enraged by rejection, Andrews hit her lover around the head with a cricket bat while he slept in their bed.

She then plunged an 19-centimetre kitchen knife into his chest and tried to rig the scene before she went on the run.

Four days after the murder, Andrews was found in her car in a lay-by in Cornwall.

She had taken an overdose of painkillers. She told police she panicked after killing her boyfriend by accident, in self-defence.

Court lies

In court, she painted a picture of a violent man who had raped her and threatened to kill her.

But her story unravelled under cross-examination.

Prosecutors pointed out that she had never complained of his violence, that none of her friends believed he had ever hurt her, and that she lied to police during interviews.

Tom Cressman
Friends said Tom Cressman was not ready for marriage
They highlighted the fact that she had spent her time on the run text-messaging 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 had even left her a message urging her to come forward.

Now the woman who spent a third of her life working with royalty, faces a life sentence in prison.

Andrews admitted that at the time she murdered her lover, she still had not got over losing her job with the Duchess of York three years earlier.

Royal job

Born in Cleethorpes, near Grimsby, she was 21 when she answered an advert in society magazine The Lady for a personal dresser.


Most jobs become part of your identity but this one takes over your life

Dominique Vulliamy
It was only at her interview that she realised who her employer would be.

But in 1997 she was sacked after nine years' service and observers say she was heartbroken.

"Losing her job would have been devastating," said another former aide Dominique Vulliamy.

"Most jobs become part of your identity but this one takes over your life. It would be hard to deal with it once it's gone."

Others say the sacking had left her disturbed.

Tom Cressman, with his money and high-society contacts, was her link to the world she had previously inhabited and she made him the focus of her life.

High life

His father, Harry Cressman said: "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."

Andrews couldn't cope when it became clear she was losing her grip on the man she adored.

When another former boyfriend had ended his relationship with Andrews, she had vandalised his flat.

But Tom Cressman's refusal to commit cost him his life, and the jury of 10 women and two men found Andrews guilty of murdering the man she said she loved "almost too much".

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