Page last updated at 19:25 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009

Killer ex-royal aide on the run

A recent picture of Jane Andrews
Andrews received a life sentence for murder

Convicted murderer Jane Andrews, a former aide of the Duchess of York, has absconded from an open prison in Kent, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.

Andrews failed to return to East Sutton Park, in Maidstone, on Sunday night.

Andrews was jailed for life after she fatally beat and stabbed boyfriend Thomas Cressman at their London home when he refused to marry her.

Andrews, 42, of Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, was ordered to serve a minimum of 15 years in jail in 2001.

Her sentence was cut by three years on appeal.

Her trial heard she beat her lover with a cricket bat, then stabbed him with a kitchen knife at their home in Fulham in September 2000.

The brother of Andrews' victim said she was "manipulative and devious" and that she had absconded from prison was no surprise to the family.

'Offensive to family'

Rick Cressman said: "As a family we felt the sentence was far too lenient in the first place."

Responding to reports Andrews had just been moved to the open jail from Send prison in Surrey, he added: "I felt it was very inappropriate for her to be moved.

"I attended Send prison in May to read out our family's letter urging that she should not be moved.

"We felt moving her to an open prison was wholly inappropriate and pretty offensive to the family and to the memory of my brother."

A spokesman for the Prison Service said: "Jane Andrews is believed to have absconded from HMP East Sutton Park on 22 November 2009 after being found missing at the 8pm roll-check.

"Police have been informed and are assisting with the search."

Meanwhile Kent Police issued a statement which said: "We are working with the prison service to locate this vulnerable lady."

In 2003, Andrews was taken to intensive care after prison staff found her unconscious in her cell.

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