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Woman's rape claim 'pack of lies', court hears

Michael and Hillary Brewer both deny the charges against them Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

A woman who said she was raped by a top choir director was a fantasist who told "a complete pack of lies", a jury heard today.

The alleged victim of Michael Brewer and his ex-wife, Hilary Kay Brewer, who was said to have encouraged the rape, was "indulging in the realms of fantasy", a court was told.

She also claims the former music director at the prestigious Chetham's School of Music in Manchester indecently assaulted her as a pupil in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Under cross-examination in giving evidence at Manchester Crown Court, the complainant denied she made up the allegations.

She had previously detailed how the relationship with her teacher, Mr Brewer, progressed at the age of 14 from hugs in his unlocked school office to kisses, intimate touching and then full sex.

Their trysts would also regularly take place in unlocked practice rooms at Chetham's, in his camper van where she would perform oral sex on him while driving in the streets of the city and on a canal bank in broad daylight.

He also abused her at his family home in Chorlton while his wife and four children were asleep or away from the house, she said.

Kate Blackwell QC, representing Mr Brewer, said to her: "You are indulging in the realms of fantasy."

She replied: "No, I am not in the realms of fantasy and I really understand why so many cases do not come to court."

"You were never caught?" Miss Blackwell asked.

"I wish I had," the witness said.

The rape was said to have taken place at the Brewer family home when she was aged 18.

She has claimed that Mrs Brewer indecently assaulted her before leading her upstairs to the bedroom where she demanded Mr Brewer have sex with the complainant because she "owed her".

The jury was told that her evidence was that they all stayed in the same bed together for the rest of the night before Mr Brewer drove her to the train station the next morning.

"Utter fantasy," said Miss Blackwell.

"Bollocks," replied the witness.

Miss Blackwell continued: "You have told this jury a complete pack of lie about the visit to this house."

The complainant replied: "This is why cases don't come to court. This happened."

"You spent the night lying next to two of your rapists?" said the barrister.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, answered: "But this happened. I felt guilty, I did not know how to get out of it.

"This is a lie," said Miss Blackwell. "You could have left the house at any time."

The witness replied: "You have got no idea clearly about what it is like to be raped.

"You have clearly no feminine understanding of what someone goes through like that. What shock your body goes through. How you almost feel you deserve it."

Miss Blackwell said the alleged victim was "traumatised" to the extent that years later she spent the night at the Brewers' house with her own husband and children before catching a holiday flight.

The witness agreed her husband had found it "odd" that she wanted to return to the scene of the alleged rape but she thought she may have done it to prove to them she had a normal family life.

"My husband has heard many stories that you might think come from a fantasist," she explained. "I could give you so many examples... but unfortunately it's my reality."

Brewer, 67, of Swarthmore Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, denies rape and 13 counts of indecent assault.

After leaving Chetham's, Brewer, who was awarded an OBE, went on to become the artistic director of the National Youth Choirs of Britain and has also directed the World Youth Choir.

He also served as an adjudicator in international competitions and in 2008 led BBC workshops for the programme Last Choir Standing.

Hilary Kay Brewer, also 67, of Knowl Gap Avenue, Rossendale, Lancashire, denies one count of indecent assault and aiding and abetting rape.

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