Sunday 17 November 2019

More claims after choirmaster case

Frances Andrade killed herself during the sex abuse trial of her former teacher
Frances Andrade killed herself during the sex abuse trial of her former teacher

A number of people have come forward to report allegations of sexual abuse in the wake of the conviction of a top choirmaster, police have said.

"Several people" have contacted Greater Manchester Police directly after the conclusion of the trial of Michael Brewer, the former director of music at the prestigious Chetham's School of Music.

In addition, The Guardian newspaper reported it had spoken to 10 women who claim they were sexually abused by another teacher at the Manchester school in the 1980s.

Brewer, 68, was found guilty of indecently assaulting his ex-pupil Frances Andrade, 48, more than 30 years ago when she was 14 and 15.

Mrs Andrade killed herself at her home in Guildford, Surrey, a week after giving evidence against him and his ex-wife, Kay, 68, who was convicted of indecently assaulting her when she was aged 18.

The trial heard allegations that sexual liaisons between teachers and pupils at Chetham's were not uncommon, and during the proceedings Brewer himself admitted an affair with a 17-year-old pupil which led to his resignation in the mid-1990s.

Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson said: "Following the conclusion of the trial last week there has been substantial press coverage and comment. Greater Manchester Police has since been provided with a list of potential victims from a newspaper.

"In addition to this, several people have also come forward directly to police. Reporting sexual abuse which occurred some time ago is an incredibly difficult thing to do, so we will be affording them, and anyone else who comes forward, all the appropriate time and support to discuss events in their own time.

"We will be working very closely with the school in the coming weeks and months but I must stress this investigation is at a very early stage. I would urge anyone who wishes to report abuse at the school to contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

"We have specially trained officers on hand to deal with any complaints sensitively and expeditiously and I would encourage any victim of sexual abuse regardless of when or where the offence occurred to call us."

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