Abuse witness Frances Andrade 'in despair' over trial, inquest hears

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Media captionFrances Andrade took an overdose in the days after she gave evidence

A violinist who gave evidence of sexual abuse by her music teacher felt she had been the one on trial, her husband has told an inquest into her death.

Frances Andrade died of a prescription overdose at home in Guildford, Surrey a week after testifying in court against former choirmaster Michael Brewer.

Brewer was jailed for six years in 2013 for abusing Mrs Andrade at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester.

Woking Coroner's Court heard Mrs Andrade, 48, spiralled into despair.

Brewer, from Selly Oak, Birmingham, was stripped of an OBE given for services to music after being jailed for five counts of indecent assault.

His former wife Hilary Brewer was also found guilty of sexual abuse and jailed for 21 months.

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Image caption Michael Brewer and his ex-wife Hilary Brewer were found guilty of abusing Frances Andrade

Mrs Andrade was aged 14 when the abuse, which took place between 1978 and 1982, began. She only came forward when she confided in a friend at a dinner party in 2011 when she was alarmed Brewer was still teaching.

A friend reported Brewer to Surrey Police and Mrs Andrade was asked to give a statement.

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

'Horrible memories'

Her husband Levine Andrade, 59, found his wife, known as Fran, dead at 08:00 BST on 24 January last year.

"She fell into incredible despair, the truth hit home," he said.

"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."

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

A toxicology report concluded there was a fatal amount of anti-depressant in her blood.

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 that mental health services failed to recognise she was vulnerable as she made repeated suicide bids.

The inquest is scheduled to run into next week.

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