Michael Brewer: Jury out in music director trial

Michael Brewer arriving at Manchester Crown Court
Image caption Michael Brewer denies rape and indecent assault

A jury in the trial of a music director accused of raping and sexually abusing a former pupil more than 30 years ago has retired to consider its verdicts.

Michael Brewer, 68, is accused of carrying out the offences at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester and his home, between 1978 and 1982.

Mr Brewer from Selly Oak, Birmingham, denies rape and indecent assault.

His ex-wife, Hilary Brewer, 67, from Rossendale, Lancashire, denies aiding and abetting rape and indecent assault.

Giving evidence at Manchester Crown Court, the alleged victim said the relationship between her and Mr Brewer started when she was 14 with hugs in his school office, before it "intensified" when she turned 15.

She said most of the alleged abuse by Mr Brewer took place in his office at the school and in his camper van.

She told the court she was raped at his home when she was 18, and that Mrs Brewer indecently assaulted her.

During the trial, Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, said Mr Brewer had also acted in an improper way towards two other female pupils - years after the alleged victim in the case left the school.

In the early 1990s he was forced to resign from Chetham's after an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old girl, Mr Cadwallader said.

Mr Brewer, who was appointed OBE in 1995, directed the World Youth Choir and also worked on the BBC's Last Choir Standing programme.

He denies rape and eight counts of indecent assault.

Mrs Brewer denies one count of indecent assault and aiding and abetting rape.

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