EXCLUSIVE: Paedophile choirmaster Michael Brewer whose victim killed herself is stripped of his OBE

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  • Michael Brewer was jailed for six years in March for indecently assaulting Frances Andrade more than three decades ago
  • She killed herself after giving evidence during his trial
  • Brewer co-founded National Youth Choir and received OBE
  • The Queen has signed off that his honour be 'annulled and cancelled'

By Matt Chorley, Mailonline Political Editor

PUBLISHED: 15:05 GMT, 28 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:22 GMT, 28 May 2013

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Honour: The Queen has agreed to 'annul and cancel' the OBE of convicted choirmaster Michael Brewer

Honour: The Queen has agreed to 'annul and cancel' the OBE of convicted choirmaster Michael Brewer

Choirmaster Michael Brewer has been stripped of his OBE after being jailed for sexually abusing a pupil.

The 68-year-old was jailed for six years in March for indecently assaulting Frances Andrade more than three decades ago. She killed herself days after being subjected to a torrid cross-examination during his trial.

Today it emerged the Queen has formally ‘cancelled and annulled’ his honour, granted for services to music.

Judge Martin Rudland  branded Brewer ‘a predatory sex offender’ who subjected Mrs Andrade to ‘depraved’ and sometimes daily abuse when she was 14 and 15.

Mrs Andrade described the ordeal of giving evidence to the trial as 'like rape all over again' after gruelling cross-examination.

She died of a suspected overdose at her home in Guildford, Surrey on January 24, six days after appearing in court. She left behind her husband Levine and four children.

Her son Oliver said in a statement at the time: 'Like all people she was not impervious.

'Being repeatedly called a liar and a fantasist about a horrific part of her life in front of a court challenged her personal integrity and was more than even she could bear.'

Brewer taught at the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester where he was director of music.

He went on to work on the BBC series Last Choir Standing and helped found the National Youth Choir. He was awarded the OBE in for services to music in the New Year's honours list on December 31 1994.

Michael Brewer, 68, left, was convicted in February of indecently assaulting Frances Andrade, 48, when she was a student at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. His ex-wife Kay, right, was also jailed

Brewer was convicted of five counts of indecent assault, an offence which can today carry up to ten years in jail.

But judges must impose sentences according to the law when the offences took place.

In 1980, the maximum sentence for indecent assault was two years’ imprisonment for each count.

Violinist Frances Andrade took her own life after giving evidence against Brewer

Violinist Frances Andrade took her own life after giving evidence against Brewer

Judge Rudland said he could not take Mrs Andrade’s suicide into account, but did impose consecutive sentences to reflect the overall term a defendant would receive under current guidelines. Brewer will serve half his sentence.

His ex-wife Kay, also 68, was jailed for 21 months for one count of indecent assault.

An announcement in the London Gazette today stated: ‘The Queen has directed that the appointment of Michael Curtis Brewer to be an Officer of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated December 31 1994, shall be cancelled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the said Order.’

Brewer's other victims included a 17-year-old student at Chetham's who he fondled in his office and admitted in court that he fell in love with at the age of 49, while another 17-year-old was pinned up against a wall during a school trip and sexually propositioned.

He resigned from Chetham's in 1994 after an affair with a 17-year-old student was uncovered.

The trial heard allegations that sexual activity between teachers and pupils at Chetham's was not uncommon.

When it ended, a number of former pupils made allegations against other staff members in national newspapers.

Ten key suspects have been identified in the wide-ranging inquiry called Operation Kiso which is also looking at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).

Those suspects either taught at Chetham's, the RNCM or privately.

Earlier this month, Greater Manchester Police said more than 30 women had made complaints that they suffered sexual abuse from classical music teachers.

Some 39 individuals have been investigated so far in the operation, five of whom are dead.
Renowned double bass teacher Duncan McTier, 58, was arrested at his home in London on May 10 over allegations of sex abuse against a 21-year-old woman in 1994.

The alleged offence is said to have taken place while the victim was a pupil at the RNCM in Manchester.

Mr McTier, who has been bailed pending further inquiries, was a part-time teacher in his specialist field at the Manchester college between 1984 and 1996.

He is currently a professor of double bass at London's Royal Academy of Music and holds similar positions at the Zurich University of the Arts and the Queen Sofia College of Music in Madrid.

Violin teacher Wen Zhou Li, 57, a professor at the RNCM and a former teacher at Chetham's, was held in February on suspicion of rape and is on bail pending further inquiries.

Channel 4 News this month reported that sexual abuse and inappropriate behaviour took place at five of the UK's specialist music schools over a 40-year period.

Former fire chief Frank Sheehan (left), who was cautioned for indecent images of children, has been stripped of a CBE and Fire Service Medal while ex-grammar school teacher David Bradley has lost his MBE after streaking in front of pupils on a camping trip

It named Chetham's and also the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey.

Surrey Police confirmed they have been contacted by the Yehudi Menuhin School following 'allegations of historic sexual abuse against a member of staff who is now deceased'.

Under official rules honours can be taken away from people who have 'done something to damage the honours system's reputation'.

Reasons to revoke an honour include being jailed for at least three months or being struck off by a professional body relevant to their honour.

Last year former RBS boss Fred Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood for his role in the banking crisis.

The Honours Forfeiture Committee considers each case confidentially before making a recommendation.

The Prime Minister then sends the decision to the Queen who decides if the honour should be forfeited.

It was also announced today that former grammar school teacher David Bradley is to lose his MBE from 2007 after streaking in front of pupils.

He was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct in January, after running naked across a garden during a camping trip with a group of 12- and 13-year-olds.

Meanwhile Francis Sheehan is to be stripped of his CBE from 2008 and Fire Service Medal awarded in 2003.

The former West Midlands fire chief made indecent images of children.

In 2009 he accepted a formal caution and was placed on the sex offenders' register for two years after the Crown Prosecution Service deemed it was 'not in the public interest' to charge him.

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