Coroner: Violinist took overdose but was not suicide

A concert violinist died by taking a lethal overdose a week after giving evidence at the sex abuse trial of her former music teacher, but she did not commit suicide, a coroner has ruled.

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Violinist overdose 'was a way to cope' with court case

A concert violinist repeatedly took overdoses as "a way to cope" with a sexual abuse court case against her former choirmaster, an inquest has heard.

Coroner Richard Travers said Mrs Andrade told doctors, "the overdoses had been triggered by anxiety that came from the court case," against Michael Brewer, 68, the former director of music at the Chetham's school of music in Manchester and his wife Hilary.

Travers said: "Her reason to overdose was not to kill herself but was a way to cope with the court case."

He added: "I can't help but think there was a real failure to appreciate the urgency of the situation and a failure to act upon it in an appropriate manner. What is clear is she found giving evidence extremely traumatic."

Despite this, he said failures among health professionals meant Frances Andrade was accidentally "amber-zoned" in records kept by a mental health team, whereas she had been assessed as the top "red" priority.

Brewer was jailed for six years in February 2013 after being found guilty of five charges of indecently assaulting Andrade when she was 14 and 15 and a pupil at the school. His wife Hilary Kay Brewer, also 68, was also sentenced to 21 months.

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