[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 11:56 GMT
Ex-royal aide 'in intensive care'
Jane Andrews and boyfriend Tom Cressman
Jane Andrews stabbed and beat Tom Cressman
A former royal aide jailed for murdering her boyfriend is on a life support machine after taking a possible drugs overdose, according to reports.

Jane Andrews, who was the Duchess of York's dresser, was said to be in intensive care after prison staff found her unconscious in her cell on Monday morning.

Last month Andrews' appeal against her life sentence for killing Thomas Cressman, 39, at their west London home on 16 September 2000, was turned down.

On Tuesday Mr Cressman's 52-year-old brother, Rick, said: "From our point of view, with the best will in the world, what Jane Andrews does in prison really is no concern of ours.

"We just want some peace and we want to be allowed to be able to get on with our lives."

Further tests

Andrews, 36, was being treated at Southend Hospital after staff at Bullwood Hall prison in Hockley, Essex found her.

Julie Bindel of Justice for Women told the Guardian newspaper: "She was found at 0800 and they could not revive her. Paramedics were called.

"They did not think that she was going to pull round but she has since started to respond."

It was reported that doctors initially thought Andrews had taken a drugs overdose, but they were later said to be uncertain about what had happened.

A Prison Service spokeswoman said it would not discuss individual prisoners, but confirmed that a prisoner from Bullwood Hall prison was taken to an outside hospital at about 0900 GMT on Monday.

Borderline personality

Lawyers for Andrews, who worked for Sarah Ferguson for nine years, failed to convince an appeal hearing in September that she killed Mr Cressman while in a state of diminished responsibility.

They had argued that she was guilty of manslaughter rather than murder, but the case was thrown out.

She had a possible borderline personality disorder due to being sexually abused as a child, the lawyers had said.

Andrews herself claimed she had killed her boyfriend accidentally - using a cricket bat and a kitchen knife - in self-defence when Mr Cressman tried to rape her.

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

'Serious repercussions'

Ms Bindel said the combination of the loss of Andrews' appeal, the publication of the reasons for that decision and the subsequent screening of a documentary about her on ITV1 had left her "in a terrible state."

She told the Guardian: "The three events came within a month of each other and the programme, in particular, left her devastated.

"She felt it was so inaccurate and it had serious repercussions for her inside prison. It made things much more difficult."

Andrews stopped working for the Duchess of York in 1997.


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


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific