Manchester

Chetham's school sex inquiry: 'More than 30' report abuse

Chetham's School of Music
Image caption Police are investigating 10 suspected offenders in relation to the claims

Police investigating allegations of abuse at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester have said more than 30 women have now reported incidents of abuse.

It comes after former choirmaster Michael Brewer, 68, was convicted of abusing pupil Frances Andrade at the school in the 1970s and 1980s.

Police are investigating 10 suspected offenders in relation to the allegations.

A 57-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of rape remains on bail.

Detectives are appealing to anyone who has been a victim of an offence at the school or who has further information to contact them.

A GMP spokesman said it had assessed 39 individuals after receiving information following Brewer's conviction and the release of the news that Mrs Andrade died after giving evidence in the trial.

"Of these 10 are proactively investigated, five are believed to be deceased, 12 relate to third party reports and a further 12 relate to matters that either do not reach a criminal threshold........or where statutory time limits do not allow for a prosecution to take place," the spokesman added.

"The 10 being pro-actively investigated have or have had connections with either Chetham's and/or Royal Northern College of Music and/or have taught music privately."

'Not be rushed'

Det Ch Insp Jamie Daniels, from GMP's protective services division, said: "This is a significant inquiry in terms of potential number of offenders and number of victims.

Image caption In February, Michael and Hilary Brewer were found guilty of assaulting Frances Andrade

"We are supporting each and every person who has come forward and made a complaint to us as best we can and I must credit them all for having the courage to face demons that have been haunting them for many, many years.

Brewer, from Selly Oak, Birmingham, was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court in February of sexually assaulting Mrs Andrade between 1978 and 1982.

His former wife Hilary Kay Brewer, 67, of Knowl Gap Avenue, Haslingden, was also convicted of indecently assaulting the same victim when she was an adult at the Brewers' then family home.

Mrs Andrade is believed to have killed herself.

Det Ch Insp Daniels added: "I want to reassure the public that I am absolutely committed to getting justice for these women, many of whom have been spurred on by the bravery shown by Frances Andrade in the case against former teacher Michael Brewer.

Brewer resigned as music director at the world renowned school in 1994 after his affair with another pupil, then aged 17, came to light.

The affair was covered up, the court heard, and Brewer went on to direct the World Youth Choir and worked on the BBC's Last Choir Standing television programme.

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