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Violinist death inquest adjourned

Frances Andrade

The inquest into the death of a concert violinist a week after she gave evidence at the sex abuse trial of her former Manchester music teacher has been adjourned for Surrey coroner Richard Travers to consider his conclusion.

Frances Andrade died from an overdose at her home in Guildford on 24 January 2013, after testifying about abuse she suffered as a teenager at the hands of ex-Chetham's School of Music choirmaster Michael Brewer.

The 48-year-old mother-of-four, did not live to see her abuser jailed for six years for five counts of indecent assault two months later.

The inquest at Woking Coroner's Court was adjourned to Friday, July 25.


Prosecutors 'unaware' violinist overdosed before trial

Prosecutors were unaware a concert violinist had taken drug overdoses in the months before she was due to give evidence in the sex abuse trial of her former Manchester music teacher, an inquest into her death has heard.

Frances Andrade

Frances Andrade, 48, died from a prescription drug overdose at her home in Guildford, Surrey, on January 24, 2013, just a week after giving evidence in court about historic sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-choirmaster Michael Brewer.

Mrs Andrade, who did not live to see her abuser jailed for six years for five counts of indecent assault, had discovered that a judge had instructed the jury in Brewer's case to find not guilty verdicts for several charges on January 23.

Frances Andrade

Giving evidence at Woking Coroner's Court, divisional crown prosecutor Mark Callaghan said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was unaware of the "fragility of Mrs Andrade's health" after she had overdosed in October and December 2012 and on January 3, 2013.

The prosecutor said the CPS had been in touch regularly with Mrs Andrade between May and August 2012 and in January 2013 and she had never indicated that she did not want to proceed with the case.

"incredible despair" of abuse victim Frances

Frances Andrade never lived to see her abuser jailed.

She was found dead just days after testifying against her music teacher Michael Brewer.

An inquest into her death heard today that the talented violinist had told her husband she felt she had been the one on trial after giving evidence - feeling she had been personally attacked by his defence barrister.

Mel Barham reports:

Abuse victim "felt she was on trial"

Frances Andrade died of a prescription drug overdose. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Violinist Frances Andrade, who testified about sexual abuse by her music teacher, told her husband she felt she had been the one on trial, just days before she died of a prescription drug overdose.

Mrs Andrade died at her home in Guildford, Surrey in January 2013, just a week after giving evidence in court about historic sexual abuse by her former choirmaster Michael Brewer.

Woking Coroner's Court heard the mother-of-four, 48, had spiralled into "incredible despair" after a friend reported Brewer to Surrey Police the previous January and she was asked to give a statement.

Brewer, who taught at the prestigious Chetham's School of Music in Manchester before going on to direct the World Youth Choir, was stripped of a music services OBE after being jailed for six years for five counts of indecent assault.

Mrs Andrade was aged just 14 and 15 at the time of the abuse but only came forward when she confided in a friend at a dinner party in 2011 and was alarmed Brewer was still teaching.

The court heard she was prescribed anti-depressants after talking to police and had twice tried to take her own life in December 2012 and January 2013.

Her husband Levine Andrade, 59, found his wife, known as Fran, dead at 8am on January 24 last year.

He said: "She fell into incredible despair, the truth hit home. It was not something she wanted to report to the police.

"It brought back horrible memories from her past. Life took a real downturn after the court proceedings - that was when she was at her complete lowest.

"Apart from the trial bringing it all back up she felt the defence barrister seemed to be attacking her personally.

"It got her completely down and she felt completely defenceless. I think she felt she was not prepared enough for the trial.

She was not expecting to be attacked personally and have to answer so many direct questions in public."

The court also heard Mrs Andrade had met Brewer on two occasions since the abuse and even asked him to hand himself in.

The toxicology report concluded there was a fatal amount of anti-depressant in her blood. Tests were inconclusive.

In April this year, a serious case review by Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board said Mrs Andrade's death "could and should" have been prevented and mental health services failed to recognise she was vulnerable as she made repeated suicide bids.

Her death led to calls for the court system to improve how sexual abuse victims are treated.

The inquest continues and is scheduled to run into next week.

Inquest into death of abuse victim

Frances Andrade. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

An inquest will be held into the death of a woman abused at a Manchester school.

Frances Andrade, 48, was found dead a week after she testified against a teacher at Cheethams School of music.

Choirmaster Michael Brewer was jailed for six years for the sexual assault which took place over thirty years ago.

The inquest will take place in Woking Coroners Court, close to her home in Guildford.

Mrs Andrade died less than a week after she gave evidence Credit: Greater Manchester Police


Man charged with sex attack on Chetham's student

A man has been charged by detectives investigating historic sexual abuse at music schools in Manchester.

Nicholas Smith, 59, of Malestroit, France, has been charged with one offence of indecent assault.

He will appear at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Friday 13 June 2014.

Greater Manchester Police said the charge relates to the indecent assault of a teenage girl between 4 May 1976 and 3 June 1978.

The girl was a pupil at Chetham's School of Music at the time the alleged offences took place.

  1. National

Arrest over rape claims at Manchester music school

A 61-year-old man has been arrested and bailed on suspicion of raping three teenagers at a music school in Manchester.

It's the latest development in an investigation into historical sex abuse at Chetham's School of Music and the Northern College of Music.

May 2013: At least 30 former Chetham's pupils report sexual abuse

Back in March, choirmaster Michael Brewer was jailed for six years after he was found guilty of indecently assaulting ex-pupil Frances Andrade, 48, more than 30 years ago when she was 14 and 15.

Mrs Andrade killed herself at her home in Guildford, Surrey, a week after giving evidence against him.

Read: Abuse victim's family say trial was 'too much to bear'

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