Sentenced: Choirmaster who sexually abused girls and the twisted wife who joined in (PICTURED)

A choirmaster has been jailed for sexually abusing a former pupil who killed herself after giving evidence against him.

Michael Brewer, 68, was convicted last month of indecently assaulting Frances Andrade, 48, when she was a student at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.

The mother-of-four from Guildford, Surrey, gave evidence against him in his trial at Manchester Crown Court but a week later she took her own life before the jury reached its verdicts.

Today, Brewer was jailed for six years while his ex-wife, Kay, 68, was also jailed for 21 months after she was convicted of indecently assaulting Mrs Andrade when she was 18.

Sentencing him, Judge Martin Rudland said Brewer had used his ‘powerful position’ to groom Mrs Andrade. ‘You have had an impressive career but that is now at an end,’ he said.

Michael Brewer
Kay Brewer

Jailed: Michael Brewer, 68, left, was convicted last month of indecently assaulting Frances Andrade, 48, when she was a student at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. His ex-wife Kay, right, was also jailed today


‘Sadly there is another side to you and it is this. You were, and you may still be, a predatory sex offender. Of that let no-one be in any doubt.’

Brewer, of Selly Oak, Birmingham, was convicted of five counts of indecently assaulting his victim when she was 14 and 15 and known as Frances Shorney.

The abuse took place in his office and in his camper van, which he used to drive her out of the school grounds and get her to perform oral sex on him.

He was cleared of raping Mrs Andrade when she was 18 at his then home in Chorlton, Manchester.

Keen churchgoer Kay Brewer, of Rossendale, Lancashire, was cleared of aiding and abetting the alleged rape but convicted of one count of indecent assault against the complainant – said to have taken place on the same night as the alleged rape.

Frances AndradeFrances Andrade took her own life after giving evidence against Brewer

Brewer, who was awarded an OBE for services to music in 1995, resigned as music director at Chetham’s at the end of 1994 after his affair with another pupil, then aged 17, was uncovered.

But the affair was hushed up, the court heard, and Brewer went on to become the artistic director of the National Youth Choirs of Britain, to direct the World Youth Choir, serve as an adjudicator in international competitions and lead BBC workshops for the programme Last Choir Standing in 2008.

One of his ensembles at the National Youth Choir gave a private performance to the Queen at Balmoral in 2007.

Mrs Andrade, a brilliant violinist and mother of four, did not live to see Brewer and his wife, Kay, jailed today.

She committed suicide midway through January’s trial.  Her version of events had been dismissed as ‘lies’ and ‘fantasy’ during cross-examination by Brewer’s female barrister.

Her 21-year-old son Oliver, a student at Cambridge University, said she gave evidence because she wanted to help others.

‘As far as she was concerned, her case was the tip of the iceberg,’ said ‘She knew about others who had been treated like she had and she wanted that to come out.’

Following the verdicts, the family of Mrs Andrade said they believed the court system had let her down and criticised the judicial process.

Oliver said: ‘Being repeatedly called a “liar” and a “fantasist” about a horrific part of her life in front of a court challenged her personal integrity and was more than even she could  bear.’.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle, of Greater Manchester Police, said: ‘Firstly I want to pass on my condolences to the family of Frances Andrade.

‘This has been a well publicised case with her tragic death widely reported.


Choirmaster Michael Brewer who sexually abused a former pupil at one of Britain¿s top music schools was today jailed for six years
Kay Brewer who was jailed for 21 months today after she was convicted of indecently assaulting Frances Andrade

Locked up: Michael Brewer, 68, and Kay, right, are pictured at a previous hearing

‘The judicial process was somewhat thrust upon her when the matter was reported to police by a friend and I must credit Frances’ bravery in facing her abusers head on in court and supporting the prosecution.

‘It is heartbreaking that she is not able to see she has been vindicated for the bravery she consistently showed, which has today ended with the Brewers being sentenced and brought to justice.

‘A lot has been said about the support mechanisms in place for Frances and other victims of sexual abuse and I want to make it clear that it is Greater Manchester Police’s policy and practice to encourage victims to seek whatever support they need.

‘As a force GMP has a dedicated Public Protection Division which investigates such matters thoroughly and compassionately. My officers are specially trained in supporting victims and are trained in how best to conduct sex abuse investigations.

‘We are currently conducting an historic sex abuse investigation in relation to offences at Chetham’s School of Music as a result of calls from former pupils.

‘This is very much ongoing so it would not be appropriate for me to comment on numbers of victims or suspects at this stage, suffice to say we are continuing to get formal accounts and complaints from former pupils who currently live the length and breadth of the country as well as abroad.

‘We have a pool of suspects under investigation which I am not prepared to elaborate on and I want to reassure the wider community that where we have identified safeguarding issues these have been addressed with partner agencies.’

Emotional statements. Paedophile choirmaster and wife jailed for…


Cover-up? Detectives have received more than 20 complaints about historic sexual abuse at Chetham's, picturedCover-up? Detectives have received more than 20 complaints about historic sexual abuse at Chetham’s, pictured

The judge also referred to two other former pupils of Chetham’s who gave evidence against Brewer as ‘victims’.

One was the teenage lover whose relationship led to Brewer leaving the school and the other was a woman who fought off his sexual advances on a school trip.

But he said Mrs Andrade did not have the strength to resist ‘because her abiding desire was to be cared for and cherished by a loving family to which she craved to belong’.

He added: ‘She was prepared to submit to almost to anything, which clearly she did, as you pushed the boundaries further and further – treating her as your sexual plaything in the context of a false loving relationship which she readily accepted.’

He added that it was ‘surprising’ that all those who spoke ‘so well’ of him at his trial in his defence did so in the knowledge of the affair which ended his Chetham’s career.

‘It may well be that they were not aware of the detail in which you exploited her but they were apparently nevertheless more than happy to overlook one of the most shocking aspects of this case.

‘Indeed, perhaps one of the few positive features to have emerged from this case is the resulting close scrutiny of the seemingly wider acceptance of this type of behaviour among those who should know better.’

In mitigation for Brewer, Kate Blackwell QC, said: ‘There are no words capable of truly describing the tragic consequences of this case – consequences unforeseen by those involved in the court process but unremitting must be the pain felt by the family of Mrs Andrade.

‘Through me, he does wish extend his sorrow for Mrs Andrade’s death. Whatever the verdicts, he bears the burden of responsibility in the sense that he failed her while she was in his care. He continues to deny any offending towards her.’

The judge said he had read ‘a very large file of letters’ on Brewer which amounted to testimonials to his ‘unquestionable importance in his field’ and his character as ‘inspirational”.

Miss Blackwell said Brewer had showed a positive attitude on remand in custody and was involved in teaching music and Spanish to inmates, as well as playing the keyboard in chapel services.

Brewer will serve half his sentence in prison and the rest on licence. He was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life. He smiled towards his family in the public gallery as he was led from the dock.

Read more: Mail Online

Comments (0)

  1. it is a petty she died. she has more to say. brewer may not be the only one that do such in the school. others should be tried for justice. God will not stop at exposing evil doers but also bring them to book .

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