Frances Andrade Dead: CPS Defends Practices After Michael Brewer Trial

The Crown Prosecution Service has defended itself against accusations that a mother-of-four, who killed herself during the sex abuse trial of her former teacher, was let down by the court system.

The body of violin teacher Frances Andrade, 48, was found at her home a week after she gave evidence against Michael Brewer, 68, who was convicted on Friday of sexually abusing her as a child while she was a pupil at the prestigious Chetham's School of Music in Manchester.

Brewer's ex-wife Kay, 68, was also found guilty of indecently assaulting Mrs Andrade when she was 18.

Despite making previous attempts on her life, her son Oliver said she did not get the help she needed and was forced to rely on the support of family and friends throughout the process.

The CPS said a dedicated witness care officer was assigned to explain the trial process to Mrs Andrade and she had restated her willingness to give evidence on several occasions.

Violin teacher Frances Andrade

Mrs Andrade, from Guildford, Surrey, was visibly agitated on occasions as she gave her evidence over two days on January 16 and 17.

She chose to give evidence in the witness box in full view of everyone in the courtroom, including the two defendants in the dock, and was supported from the public gallery by one of her sons.

At one point she complained about Brewer smiling as she gave her evidence, but she chose to press on without drawing a curtain to block off the dock.

After she gave her evidence, Judge Martin Rudland remarked that she was "clearly undergoing a cathartic experience, whatever the source".

The CPS said Mrs Andrade agreed to give evidence in court and restated her willingness to do so on several occasions both before and during the trial. She was also consulted before the Brewers were charged.

Frances Andrade is believed to have taken her own life

It said a dedicated witness care officer was assigned to explain the trial process and she was offered a familiarisation visit to the court in advance.

Brewer, of Swarthmore Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, - who was supported in court by his present wife, Sandra, - was cleared of raping Mrs Andrade when she was 18 at his then home in Chorlton, Manchester.

He was convicted of five counts of indecently assaulting her at the age of 14 and 15 when she was known as Frances Shorney. The abuse took place in his office and in his camper van where he would drive her out of the school grounds and get her to perform oral sex on him.

Kay Brewer, of Knowl Gap Avenue, 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.

Both defendants were remanded in custody ahead of pre-sentence reports and were told that a jail sentence was "inevitable".

Sentencing will take place on a date to be fixed.

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