“Somebody is going to get hurt”
Jane Andrews was born in the unglamorous town of Cleethorpes, Humberside, the daughter of a carpenter and a social worker. She wanted more, much more. Her first job was a designer for Marks & Spencer’s children’s clothes.
When she was 21 she saw an advert for a job as a dresser to the Duchess of York in the magazine The Lady. Andrews applied and got the £18,000 a year position. In 1989 she married Christopher Dunn-Butler, a divorced, balding IBM executive, 20 years her senior. It lasted five years before the couple divorced — he accused her of infidelity. In 1995 she was in charge of the duchess’s baggage when £250,000 worth of jewellery was stolen.
Andrews had taken to imitating Sarah York, wearing similar clothes and styling her hair in the same way. She was devastated in 1996 when she lost her job in a cost-cutting exercise and began taking anti-depressants and seeing a therapist.
On New Year’s Eve 1998 she met dashing bachelor Tom Cressman who had a taste for flashy sports cars. In October 1999 Andrews became PR manager for Claridge’s hotel but her inexperience showed through and she left after just two months. She became a shop assistant but money worries meant that she relied on her wealthy boyfriend for help with her mortgage. He had his own demons — he often made cutting remarks about Andrews’s appearance or opinions and had a taste for bondage, spanking and anal sex, which she indulged to please him.
She was determined to marry him although he was said to have told friends, “She’s a pair of old slippers I cannot throw away.” The relationship became more tempestuous and Andrews bemoaned his lack of affection towards her. One day, she searched his computer and found messages to Deborah, another woman, albeit in Las Vegas. It sent her over the edge although she stayed in the relationship.
At home on 17 September 2000 they had a blazing row and at 11.35am Mr Cressman, a neighbour, rang 999 and told the operator, “Somebody is going to get hurt.” The police did not attend. That night as her boyfriend slept Jane Andrews stripped naked and then smashed him in the head with a cricket bat before stabbing him in the chest with a 20 cm (8 in) knife. Andrews got in her car and in a layby on the A38 near Liskeard, Cornwall she took an overdose, in an apparent suicide bid.
Maltings House, Bagley’s Lane, Fulham, London, England
Sunday 17 September 2000
Andrews was arrested three days later and went on trial at the Old Bailey on 23 April 2001. She attempted to traduce her dead lover’s reputation, claiming that he forced her to have anal sex and that on the night he died he had twice tried to rape her anally.
She told the jury, “He started hitting me and said I had ruined him. He said he was going to … kill me… I picked up the knife because I didn’t want him anywhere near me. We came together and the next thing I knew he was on top of me. It must have gone into him. I crawled from underneath him and ran out of the room.”
On 16 May the jury convicted Andrews on a majority decision after 11 hours and 44 minutes’ deliberation. She was sent to prison for life. She appealed her conviction, claiming her brother, Mark, had sexually abused her as a child. Her claims were rejected.
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Many have wondered how Jane Andrews managed to buy a two bedroom, second-floor flat in Prince of Wales Drive opposite Battersea Park and have around £50,000 in her bank account. An official at Buckingham Palace commented, “It was never proved legally, but we are convinced she stole a huge amount of money.”