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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

World

Bereaved India-born violinist for change in UK law
PTI
London, February 10, 2013
First Published: 20:54 IST(10/2/2013)
Last Updated: 20:58 IST(10/2/2013)

An Indian-born musician has called for change in the British law after his wife committed suicide for being accused of lying during the trial of a renowned choirmaster who assaulted her when she was a teen.

Levine Andrade, 59, who left Mumbai at the age of eight to study under Yehudi Menuhin, believes his wife Frances Andrade took her own life due to the pressure of having to testify against her former mentor Michael Brewer.

"I hope they can change the law. Fran felt as if she was on trial," Andrade said.

Brewer, 68, was convicted last week of five counts of indecently assaulting Frances Andrade when she was his pupil at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester and his ex-wife, Kay Brewer was found guilty of indecently assaulting Andrade when she was 18.

But the 48-year-old mother of four was not alive to hear the verdict as she died of a suspected overdose at her home in Guildford, Surrey, on January 24 soon after giving evidence in the case.

In the witness box Brewer called her a "fantasist" who was "largely living a fantasy life".

"There was a downward spiral in the course of the last year. 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.

"..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," her husband told the Daily Mail.

Levine recalls that his wife became so traumatised at the thought of appearing in court that she tried to commit suicide, injecting herself with the insulin he uses for his diabetes.

Some months later she tried again, this time with a mix of pills until the third attempt would claim her life, he said.

Levine had met fellow violinist Frances at a concert in London and after a whirlwind romance they got married in 1988.

She took 15 years out of music to bring up her children and in the later years of her life increasingly devoted herself to teaching.

The police registered a case two years ago on a colleague's complaint and the trial opened on January 15.

Her son Oliver has criticised the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), claiming Frances had been left to "cope on her own" with the traumatic impact of the case despite previous attempts to kill herself.

In a statement issued after the verdict, he said, 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...even after several attempts at her own life, she did not get the help she needed. The court system let her down.


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