Haslingden woman 'aided music head husband to rape teen girl'

Hilary Brewer and (inset) estranged husband Michael Brewer

Hilary Brewer and (inset) estranged husband Michael Brewer

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

THE wife of a ‘brilliant and charismatic’ school musical director ‘aided and abetted’ his rape of a student, a court has heard.

Michael Brewer, 67, ‘could not keep his hands off at least two pupils and propositioned a third’ during his time at internationally renowned Chetham’s School in Manchester, a jury was told.

He is accused of committing a string of indecent assaults against one of the girls in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and is also said to have raped her in the presence of his wife, Hilary Kay Brewer, of Knowl Gap Avenue, Haslingden.

She is also on trial at Manchester Crown Court accused of aiding and abetting the rape and committing a separate indecent assault on the alleged victim.

The sole complainant in the case will say most of the abuse by Brewer took place at the school as she visited his office and his camper van which was parked in its grounds.

The jury was told she did not consider it sexual abuse at the time and did not make an official complaint.

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

He pinned a 17-year-old girl up against a wall during a school trip and said to her, ‘You want it really, don't you?’ before she ducked underneath his arms and ran off, the prosecutor said.

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

She too regularly visited his office and recalled he would persuade her to take off her top and bra and he would fondle her, the court heard.

The court heard the victim in the case was above the age of consent when she was raped but had essentially ‘submitted’ to Brewer and his wife.

Mr Cadwallader said she had a ‘troubled childhood’ but was a ‘hugely gifted musician’.

The alleged rape took place when the alleged victim visited the home of the Brewers.

Mr Cadwallader said: "Hilary Kay Brewer made it clear that she knew about the relationship that her husband was having or had had with her.

"She came out with the extraordinary statement that she had always wanted a sexual relationship with a woman and that because of what had happened the complainant owed her."

The teenager made it ‘perfectly clear’ she was not interested but the defendant ‘would not have anything of it’.

"She made the complainant go upstairs and there she performed sexual activity on the complainant," he said.

"She was getting, the Crown say, a great thrill and her husband was present and he got a lot less pleasure at that stage than Hilary Brewer.

"The complainant was also tied up to the bed with a belt, although I would not want to exaggerate that she could not get out.

"The prosecution say that she was mentally and physically unable to resist."

Mr Cadwallader continued: "After Hilary Kay Brewer had her way she then invited or told Michael Brewer to show her what he had done to the complainant a few years before. He had sexual intercourse with her at that time and at the time (the victim) was not consenting."

The prosecutor said the abuse had started at Chetham's School.

"That school then, and probably now, had a worldwide reputation," he said.

"The defendant, Michael Brewer, during the time she was at the school, and indeed up until 1994, was the music director.

"He can be properly described as a fine musician, a brilliant teacher. A man who can be described as dynamic and very charismatic.

"His only problem, the prosecution allege, is that he could not keep his hands off at least two female pupils and propositioned a third."

The complainant in the trial said she was sexually abused from the age of 14 by Brewer.

Mr Cadwallader said: "She was visiting the defendant in his office on the school premises and it was there that intimacy started.”

He said at the time, as a vulnerable youngster, she saw the abuse as ‘a small price to pay for the affection’.

There was a breach of trust element to the case, he said.

He said: "The prosecution case is very much that he abused that position using his power, influence and personality to seduce her."

Brewer, of Swarthmore Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, denies rape and 13 counts of indecent assault.

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

Proceeding.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree