Sunday 18 March 2018

Sex abuse case lawyer 'did her job'

Frances Andrade killed herself after giving evidence against her abuser Michael Brewer
Frances Andrade killed herself after giving evidence against her abuser Michael Brewer

The son of a sex abuse victim who killed herself after she was accused of lying in court has insisted that the defence lawyer in the case did nothing wrong.

Frances Andrade, 48, was found dead at her home a week after she gave evidence against her former music teacher, Michael Brewer, who was jailed for six years on Tuesday for sexually abusing her as a child.

Her son, Oliver, previously attacked the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for letting down his mother, saying that being called a "liar" and a "fantasist" in court was "more than even she could bear".

But on Wednesday he echoed the judge's comments following the case which said that Kate Blackwell QC, who was defending Brewer, had acted professionally throughout and performed her task in an "exemplary manner".

"I would like to say I do agree with the judge in this," Mr Andrade told ITV's Daybreak.

"She has been vilified a lot in the press and she didn't do anything wrong herself. She did her job. Any person in her position would have done the same."

Asked about the hurt his mother suffered during cross-examination, Mr Andrade replied: "That was not due to her (Ms Blackwell). That was due to the system and the lack of support around it. I don't find her responsible at all."

Brewer, the former music director at the prestigious Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, was labelled "a predatory sex offender" as he was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court.

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

Mr Andrade said Judge Martin Rudland was "very fair" in handing out a six-year sentence and pointed out that Brewer committed his offences before a change of law in 2003 which introduced tougher sentencing for sexual offences.

Press Association

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