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Frances Andrade 'Devastated' At Being Called Liar
A woman who killed herself during the trial of a man who abused her was left "devastated" after being called a liar in court, her husband has said.
Frances Andrade's testimony was central to the case against choirmaster Michael Brewer and his ex-wife Kay, who were found guilty of sexually assaulting their victim more than 30 years ago.
However the 48-year-old's body was found less than a week after she gave evidence in the trial at Manchester Crown Court.
She had taken personal issue with some of the questions put to her by Kate Blackwell QC, representing Brewer, during cross examination.
Mrs Andrade told her: "You are hugely insulting, even though it's your job."
Her husband Levine, 59, told the Mail on Sunday: "She was dreading being a witness. She had to go on anti-depressants, possibly her drugs were getting stronger and having no effect, but the court tipped her over the edge."
He said Mrs Andrade was adopted as a baby, and abused by an uncle from the age of three.
Her mother did not believe her, he said, which made Ms Blackwell's accusation that she was a liar even harder to bear.
"That was devastating because it's what her mother used to tell her.
"I know it's not personal, she [the barrister] has to do that, she has to attack, she has to defend her client.
"But Fran found it amazing that a woman could do a job like that.
"I understand. If I was put in that position as the accused, I'd want the very best fighting on my behalf but maybe it was unfair it was a woman. Maybe she was chosen thus.
"I hope they can change the law. Fran felt as if she was on trial. She kept saying: 'I can see why nobody comes forward. I can see how people crack under the pressure'."
He added: "If only she could have heard the verdict today. It's not the most amazing verdict but at least it shows she wasn't lying. They believed her."
Mr Andrade also criticised the court system, saying it was difficult for people to defend themselves.
"Fran said it was particularly awful because in a normal conversation you can defend yourself, but she got reprimanded so many times for fighting back.
"They talk about telling the truth, the whole truth, but you don't get the chance.
"When Brewer completely denied it, Fran went ballistic. It's like the Nazis - you can forgive but don't ask anyone to forget."
Despite Mr Andrade's criticisms, the judge in the case indicated that Ms Blackwell had acted professionally.
The police have also said that they urge all sexual assault victims to seek support.
Brewer, 68, a former National Youth Choir music director, and his ex-wife Kay, were both found guilty on five counts of indecently assaulting the former music student. They will be sentenced later.
what do you think?
its about time that the prosecutors in cases were reprimanded for their personal attacks on witnesses in abuse cases. They are generally nothing but bullying tactics in order to make the witnesses look weak inorder t protect someone they generally KNOW is guilty. Nothing but abusive bullies themselves.