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Expert witness panel described suicide of sexually abused violinist as “preventable”

The suicide of Violinist Frances Andrade, 48 who killed herself just days after giving evidence about the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of Michael Brewer and his ex- wife Hiliary Kay Brewer at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester when she was 14 and 15 “could” and should have been prevented according to an expert review by the Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board who cover Guildford where Francis killed herself in her own home.
In the recent high profile case Michael Brewer was stripped of his OBE and jailed for six years at Manchester Crown Court for abusing Francis when he was a choirmaster at Chetham’s School of Music. His ex – wife was also jailed for 21 months at the same trial for indecently assaulting Francis.
The serious case review said Mrs. Andrade had been let down by mental health services who did not pick up on how vulnerable she was as she fought to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The report goes on to say that mental health services should increase their alertness to the “fall out” of sexual exploitation and the risks of suicide.  It added that Mrs. Andrade had “reasons to live and she continued to ask for help throughout this period and we invite all the agencies to take real concrete steps towards improving the practice.”
The review concluded that music schools along with other “hothousing establishments” created a backdrop of a “very particular and potent form of grooming”.
Sebastian Giles for Expert Witness Today.

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