The ITV documentary Fergies Killer Dresser tells the story of Jane Andrews, who was convicted of the murder of her boyfriend Thomas Cressman in 2001 – but what is the connection with Sally Challen?
Fergie’s Killer Dresser: The Jane Andrews Story will air on Wednesday (March 3, 2021) at 9 p.m. on ITV1.
The show asks if Jane would have been convicted of manslaughter rather than murder if she had stood trial today.
Everything you need to know is here.
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Is there a connection between Sally Challen and Jane Andrews?
Jane Andrews was the former dresser of Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.
The police discovered the bloody body of their millionaire Thomas Cressman in the bed they shared.
Jane was convicted of murder by a jury in 2001.
Jane hit Thomas with a cricket bat and stabbed him after an alleged row.
Prosecutors described her as “the despised woman” when she was tried on April 23, 2001 at the Old Bailey.
The ITV documentary compares Jane’s case with that of Sally Challen.
Was Jane Andrews in an Abusive Relationship?
Jane testified in her own defense that Tom abused her during their relationship and even broke his arm once.
Despite her allegations of domestic abuse, it only took a jury 12 hours to convict her of Tom’s murder.
The judge then sentenced her to at least 12 years of life imprisonment.
Jane’s defense psychiatrist Trevor Turner is first registered.
He describes Jane as a panicked young woman defending herself.
Trevor believes she was sexually assaulted by a man twice her size.
Thomas Cressman’s family have fiercely denied that he abused them in any way.
Jane had a troubled childhood – including depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, unwanted pregnancies, and suicide attempts.
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Who is Sally Challen?
Britain’s first murder conviction was overturned in the domestic violence case of Sally Challen.
Sally murdered 61-year-old husband Richard in Surrey with a hammer.
A jury believed she was guilty of the murder and was imprisoned for life in 2011.
However, Sally was released after her conviction was overturned in February 2019 and prosecutors later accepted her homicide plea.
Sally Challen: Is Coercive Control a Crime?
During the two-day hearing, the court heard evidence regarding Ms. Challen’s state of mind at the time of the murder and the issue of “coercive control”.
Justice Edis said the murder came after “years of control, isolation and humiliation of behavior” with the added provocation of her husband’s “serial multiple infidelity”.
He reissued nine years and four months for manslaughter, but concluded that she had already served her time.
A psychiatrist said Sally, mother of two, had suffered from two mental disorders at the time of the murder.
Compulsive control describes a behavior pattern used by an offender to hurt, punish or frighten his victim.
It became a criminal offense in England and Wales in December 2015.
Where is Sally Challen now?
Domestic abuse survivor Sally now advocates for the rights of other women who have suffered from forced control relationships.
In 2020 she was granted the right to claim her husband Richard’s estate.
Judge Paul Matthews ruled that Ms. Challen could inherit his estate.
He said that in Sally’s case, a rule should be waived that excludes people who kill from inheriting their victim’s estate.
What did ITV say about the Sally Challen and Jane Andrews connection?
First, ITV explains: “After the UK’s first murder conviction was overturned in the domestic violence case of Sally Challen, this film aims to tell the definitive story of Andrew’s rise and fall.
“It is asked whether the courts would have treated the case the same way if it had happened now.”
Finally, the documentary includes an interview with defense psychiatrist Trevor Turner.
He goes on record for the first time to argue that Jane suffered from some form of PTSD because of her lover’s alleged abuse.
Fergie’s Killer Dresser: The Jane Andrews Story will air on Wednesday March 3rd, 2021 at 9 p.m. on ITV1.
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