14 Feb 2013

Arrest in Chetham’s School sex abuse inquiry

A violin teacher is arrested by detectives investigating historic sex abuse at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.

The arrest comes after it emerged that violin teacher Frances Andrade, 48, committed suicide after giving evidence in court against the prestigious school’s former choirmaster Michael Brewer and his wife Kay.

Both were subsequently convicted of sex offences against Mrs Andrade.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said a 57-year-old man was this morning arrested on suspicion of rape and remains in police custody for questioning.

Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson, from GMP, said: “We are aware of the widespread media coverage about our investigation into reports of historic sexual abuse at Chetham’s.

“Continued speculation in the press about former teachers and incidents can be unhelpful to the victims and the investigation. This is therefore something we cannot comment on directly at present.

We are working closely with victims and witnesses and will have specially trained officers to support them. Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson

“That said, we understand the need for as much transparency as possible so what we can say is this investigation is looking into more than 20 individual reports of sexual offences reported by former pupils at the school.

“In relation to allegations made, we have today arrested a 57-year-old man from Cheshire on suspicion of committing rape. This also relates to historic offences and he will be interviewed later today by detectives.

“Various names have been mentioned in the press of people involved in offences, clearly we will use this information, comparing it against allegations made. If any of those publicly named wish to speak to police directly now, we will of course interview them to take their account.

“In the meantime we will continue to interview witnesses and victims and take action following this.

Working ‘closely’ with victims

“These are historic offences which involved a relatively small number of teachers. For obvious reasons there is a limited amount of information we can provide, but where we can provide information we will.

“We are working closely with victims and witnesses and will have specially trained officers to support them. We have formed a dedicated team of investigators to look into this and are working closely with the school.

“It is also important to point out that given the number of people we need to speak to and the number of inquiries to be done, this is an investigation that could take some time. While we appreciate the anguish of victims who have waited years to come forward, it is only right and proper we do things robustly and comprehensively. Whilst we will work expeditiously, this cannot be rushed.”