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Conductor jailed for indecent assault

An internationally acclaimed conductor has admitted indecently assaulting a teenage girl. Nicholas Smith, 66, committed the historical offence in the 1970s while the victim was a pupil at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester.

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Conductor jailed for indecent assaulting Chetham's pupil

An music conductor who indecently assaulted a teenage girl has been jailed for eight months.

Nicholas Smith's victim went to police 36 years after the assault following the high-profile death of sex attack victim Frances Andrade, a fellow pupil at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, the city's Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

Nicholas Smith Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Smith, 66, was investigated in the aftermath of Mrs Andrade's death during last year's sex abuse trial of Michael Brewer, the former music director at Chetham's.

Brewer was jailed for six years for indecently assaulting ex-pupil Mrs Andrade, 48, when she was 14 and 15 in the 1970s. Mrs Andrade killed herself at her home in Guildford, Surrey, a week after giving evidence against him.

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Smith's victim told police the death of Mrs Andrade, whom she knew while at the school, was like the "curtain of a stage lifted".

The single indecent assault by Smith when his victim was aged 15 and he was 30, took "minutes" but ruined her life, the court heard.

Chetham's School of Music in Manchester Credit: Press Association

Smith, a visiting conductor at Chetham's in the 1970s, at first denied the sex attack but later admitted one count of indecent assault against his vulnerable victim, now in her 50s, on a date between 1976 and 1978, at his country cottage in Derbyshire.

Smith went on to become an internationally-renowned conductor working across the world but his reputation now lies in ruins, the court heard.

Jailing him for eight months, Judge Peter Lakin told Smith:

"You breached the trust placed in you in a most serious way. She was highly vulnerable and you knew it.

"When you were alone with her, you cynically took advantage of her vulnerability and subjected her to a deeply unpleasant and frightening ordeal.

"You pushed her to the ground, dragged her clothes up and then fondled and kissed her exposed breasts.

"This was a forceful sexual assault by someone in authority."

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