Thursday 23 November 2017

Private school choirmaster gets six years for sexually abusing former pupil

File photo dated 07/02/13 of Michael Brewer, the founding artistic director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, arriving at Manchester Crown Court. The choirmaster, who sexually abused an ex-pupil who went on to take her own life during his trial, will be sentenced today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday March 26, 2013. Michael Brewer, 68, was convicted last month of indecently assaulting Frances Andrade, 48, when she was an underage student at the prestigious Chetham's School of Music in Manchester. The mother-of-four, from Guildford, Surrey was visibly agitated on occasions as she gave evidence over two days at Manchester Crown Court in mid-January. A week later it emerged her body had been discovered at her home, although her death was withheld from jury members until they had reached their verdicts against Brewer and his ex-wife, Kay, 68, who was found guilty of indecently assaulting Mrs Andrade when she was 18. See PA story COURTS Choir. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire
File photo dated 07/02/13 of Michael Brewer, the founding artistic director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, arriving at Manchester Crown Court. The choirmaster, who sexually abused an ex-pupil who went on to take her own life during his trial, will be sentenced today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday March 26, 2013. Michael Brewer, 68, was convicted last month of indecently assaulting Frances Andrade, 48, when she was an underage student at the prestigious Chetham's School of Music in Manchester. The mother-of-four, from Guildford, Surrey was visibly agitated on occasions as she gave evidence over two days at Manchester Crown Court in mid-January. A week later it emerged her body had been discovered at her home, although her death was withheld from jury members until they had reached their verdicts against Brewer and his ex-wife, Kay, 68, who was found guilty of indecently assaulting Mrs Andrade when she was 18. See PA story COURTS Choir. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire
Frances Andrade

Kim Pilling

A CHOIRMASTER who sexually abused a former pupil at one of Britain's top music schools was today jailed for six years.

Michael Brewer, 68, was convicted last month of indecently assaulting Frances Andrade, 48, when she was an underage student at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester.

The mother-of-four from Guildford, Surrey, gave evidence against him in his trial at Manchester Crown Court but a week later she took her own life before the jury reached its verdicts.

Brewer's ex-wife, Kay, 68, was jailed for 21 months today after she was convicted at the same trial of indecently assaulting Mrs Andrade when she was 18.

Brewer, of Swarthmore Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, was convicted of five counts of indecently assaulting his victim when she was 14 and 15 and known as Frances Shorney.

The abuse took place in his office and in his camper van, which he used to drive her out of the school grounds and get her to perform oral sex on him.

He was cleared of raping Mrs Andrade when she was 18 at his then home in Chorlton, Manchester.

Keen churchgoer Kay Brewer, of Knowl Gap Avenue, Rossendale, Lancashire, was cleared of aiding and abetting the alleged rape but convicted of one count of indecent assault against the complainant - said to have taken place on the same night as the alleged rape.

Brewer, who was awarded an OBE for services to music in 1995, resigned as music director at Chetham's at the end of 1994 after his affair with another pupil, then aged 17, was uncovered.

But the affair was hushed up, the court heard, and Brewer went on to become the artistic director of the National Youth Choirs of Britain, to direct the World Youth Choir, serve as an adjudicator in international competitions and lead BBC workshops for the programme Last Choir Standing in 2008.

One of his ensembles at the National Youth Choir gave a private performance to the Queen at Balmoral in 2007.

Following the verdicts, the family of Mrs Andrade said they believed the court system had let her down and criticised the judicial process.

Her son Oliver said: "Being repeatedly called a 'liar' and a 'fantasist' about a horrific part of her life in front of a court challenged her personal integrity and was more than even she could bear."

Sentencing him, Judge Martin Rudland said Michael Brewer had used his "powerful position" to groom Mrs Andrade.

"You have had an impressive career but that is now at an end," he said.

"Sadly there is another side to you and it is this. You were, and you may still be, a predatory sex offender. Of that let no-one be in any doubt."

Press Association

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