Tragedy of sex abuse victim Frances Andrade
A woman who was sexually abused by a youth choir director is believed to have killed herself during his trial, it can be reported for the first time.
The body of violin teacher Frances Andrade, 48, was found at her home less than a week after she gave evidence against Michael Brewer, 68, at Manchester Crown Court.
The revelation came after the prosecution case closed and the former director of music at the internationally-renowned Chetham's School of Music was defending himself against a number of sexual allegations.
Brewer's ex-wife, Kay, 68, was also accused of indecently assaulting Mrs Andrade, then known as Shorney, and aiding and abetting rape.
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The Crown Prosecution Service decided to continue with the trial and the judge ruled news of Mrs Andrade's death should be kept from jurors until after they reached their verdicts yesterday.
The jury of six men and five women found Brewer guilty of sexually abusing the victim in his office at Chetham's, in Manchester, when she was 14 and 15.
Mrs Brewer was convicted of indecently assaulting the same victim when she was an adult.
Brewer was cleared of raping the victim when she was 18 and Mrs Brewer was cleared of aiding and abetting rape.
Brewer was also cleared of indecently assaulting the victim as a child in his home.
Brewer was cleared of raping Mrs Andrade when she was 18 at his then home in Chorlton, Manchester.
He was convicted of five counts of indecently assaulting her at the age of 14 and 15 when she was known as Frances Shorney.
Kay Brewer, 68, was cleared of aiding and abetting 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.
Mrs Andrade was visibly agitated on occasions as she gave evidence, on January 16 and 17.
She chose to give evidence in the witness box in full view of everyone in the courtroom, including the two defendants.
The jury heard the police investigation was sparked by National Youth Choir teacher Jenavora Williams after her friend, Mrs Andrade, told her about her time at Chetham's.
Mother-of-four Mrs Andrade, who was married to acclaimed viola player Levine Andrade, told the court she wanted it to be dealt with internally, but she said Mrs Williams went to the police without telling her.
She then co-operated with the police and agreed to take part in the prosecution.