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26 March 2013, 13:42
A choirmaster who sexually abused a former pupil at one of Britain's top music schools, in Manchester, has been jailed for six years.
68 year old Michael Brewer, was convicted last month of indecently assaulting 48 year old Frances Andrade, when she was a 14 year old student at Chetham's School of Music.
The mum-of-four from Guildford in Surrey, gave evidence against him in his trial at Manchester Crown Court but a week later she took committed suicide before the jury reached its verdicts.
Brewer's ex-wife, 68 year old Hilary, was jailed for 21 months after she was convicted at the same trial of indecently assaulting Mrs Andrade when she was 18.
Brewer, from Selly Oak in 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.
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.
Following the verdicts, the family of Mrs Andrade said they believed the court system had let her down and criticised the judicial process.
Her son 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.''
Sentencing him, Judge Martin Rudland said Michael 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.
“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.”