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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
Ex-royal aide loses murder appeal
Jane Andrews and boyfriend Tom Cressman
Jane Andrews stabbed and beat Tom Cressman
The Duchess of York's former dresser Jane Andrews has lost her appeal against her conviction for murdering her lover.

Andrews had claimed she was sexually abused as a child and was suffering from diminished responsibility when she killed Thomas Cressman.

But three judges dismissed her appeal on Tuesday, upholding the May 2001 conviction.

Speaking outside the Court of Appeal in London, Mr Cressman's father Harry broke down in tears as he welcomed the decision.

At last we can have some closure..and wonderful memories of a super son
Harry Cressman
He said his son's reputation was intact despite Andrews' "despicable" attempt to ruin it.

"Although nothing will ever be able to bring Tom back to us, his character, his true reputation as a fine, upstanding young man is there as strong as ever," he said.

The judges rejected the fresh evidence which the defence had claimed showed Andrews was suffering from a borderline personality disorder because of abuse in her childhood.

As Andrews' parents left the court, her mother June said: "I believe my daughter and I always will believe my daughter."

Andrews' supporters had wanted a fresh jury to hear the new psychiatric evidence and consider the alternative verdict of manslaughter.

Asked if he had anything to say to Andrews, Mr Cressman replied: "I have nothing to say to her.

"I understand that anybody who is behind bars will do anything to get out of that position, but I think what she did to try to ruin our son's reputation, the reputation of his brother and other members of her family is totally despicable."

British justice

Mr Cressman said his family would remember his son "with pride as the fine, handsome young man he was.

"Now at last we can have some closure. And have some wonderful memories of a super son."

Mr Cressman thanked the Metropolitan police and Crown Prosecution Service for their support since his 39-year-old son's death.

"Once again our faith in the British justice system has been fulfilled - and thank god," he said.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Dickie, who led the murder investigation, said this decision ended three "traumatic years" for the family.

'Unforgivable'

Andrews's allegations of domestic violence and rape had been thoroughly investigated by the police and no evidence was found to support any of her claims, he said.

"For her to make such allegations to try and absolve herself of the responsibility for murdering Tom is unforgivable.

"Nothing can bring Tom back, but this decision by the appeal court judges, which reflects the strength of the evidence, will, I hope, give the family some solace in their continuing grief."

Andrews, the former dresser and assistant to the Duchess of York for nine years until 1997, is serving a life sentence for murdering her wealthy businessman lover at the house they shared in Fulham, west London.

The 36-year-old struck her boyfriend on the head with his cricket bat and then stabbed him in the chest with a kitchen knife in revenge after he said he would not marry her.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Nick Thatcher
"The police say they hope Andrews will accept the decision"



SEE ALSO:
Ex-Royal aide makes abuse claim
23 Sep 03  |  England



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