UK & World News

  • 25 July 2014, 15:47

Abuse Case Violinist Was 'Failed' Before Death

A coroner has criticised mental health services for "failing" to provide proper care to a concert violinist who died a week after giving evidence at her former teacher's sex abuse trial.

Mother-of-four Frances Andrade was "extremely traumatised" after testifying about abuse she suffered as a teenager at the hands of ex-Chetham's School of Music choirmaster Michael Brewer and his wife Kay.

She took a fatal overdose days later at her home in Guildford, Surrey, on January 24, 2013.

The coroner said he could not be sure the 48-year-old intended to kill herself and ruled out a verdict of suicide.

Ms Andrade did not live to see her abuser jailed for six years for five counts of indecent assault two months later.

Delivering his verdict at Woking Coroner's Court, coroner Richard Travers demanded that new rules are put in place to ensure that vulnerable witnesses are given better support when they face often traumatic trials.

But he said he would be writing three reports - two to the Director of Public Prosecutions and one to the local health service to call for changes in the wake of the inquest.

Ms Andrade's husband described how his wife spiralled into depression after her court appearance and had said she felt as if she was the one on trial.

Speaking at Woking Coroners Court on July 7, Levine Andrade said: "Apart from the trial bringing it all back up she felt the defence barrister seemed to be attacking her personally.

"It got her completely down and she felt completely defenceless."

Ms Andrade was abused by Brewer when she was 14 and 15 and indecently assaulted by his wife at their former family home when she was an adult.

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