A woman who was sexually abused by a leading youth choir director is believed to have killed herself during his trial, it can be reported today 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.
The Crown Prosecution Service decided to continue with the trial and the judge ruled that news of Mrs Andrade's death should be kept from jurors until after they reached their verdicts today.
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 also convicted of indecently assaulting the same victim when she was an adult at their then family home.
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.