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Frances Andrade

News has emerged that Violin teacher Frances Andrade died shortly after giving evidence in the trial of Hilary and Michael Brewer at Manchester Crown Court in the UK. News of Andrade's suicide was temporarily banned by the judge and the information was withheld from the jury.

British choral director and music teacher Michael Brewer was later convicted of sexually abusing Miss Andrade in his office at Chetham's School of Music more than thirty years ago. Miss Andrade's son stated that having her personal integrity challenged by the defence lawyer in court was more than his mother could bear. She took her own life less than a week after giving evidence.

Brewer's former wife Hilary was convicted of indecent assault on the same victim at a later date, when Frances Andrade was an adult.

Michael Brewer established the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and was its musical director until summer 2012. In 1995 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He was head of Chetham's School of Music in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Claire Moreland, current head of Chetham's School of Music, commented: 'What we have learned during the course of the last four weeks has shocked us to the core. The passage of time between the offences and now does not lessen this shock. Mr Brewer has been found to have committed the most appalling acts which took place during his time at the school, and he breached the trust placed in him by the school, its staff and most importantly the students. On behalf of the current school staff I wish to express my profound and sincere apology and regret. And most of all I wish to express the sorrow and sympathy we feel for the family of our former student who died under such tragic circumstances and had to endure so much.'

Posted: 9 February 2013

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