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Haslingden woman's ex-husband 'not attracted to schoolgirls'
12:02pm Wednesday 30th January 2013 in News
A CHOIRMASTER at a famed music school has denied having a sexual interest in schoolgirls.
Michael Brewer, 67, described as a ‘brilliant and charismatic’ teacher and music director, is alleged to have abused his position to prey on youngsters.
The father of four, awarded an OBE in 1995 for services to music, ‘could not keep his hands off’ at least two girls and propositioned a third while working at the internationally renowned Chetham's School in Manchester, a jury heard.
He is on trial over allegations relating to one girl, but the other two have given evidence against him.
He is accused of committing a string of indecent assaults against one girl in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and is also said to have raped her in the presence of his wife, Hilary Kay Brewer, 67, from 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. Both deny all the charges.
The alleged victim was molested by Brewer from the age of 14, in his school office and elsewhere, beginning with hugging before progressing to indecent assaults and oral sex, the court heard.
The ‘vulnerable’ youngster was described as highly strung and wilful with a troubled childhood, but was a ‘hugely gifted musician’ who craved love and attention.
Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, told the jury Brewer acted improperly towards the two other female pupils, years after the alleged victim left the school.
He was forced to resign from Chetham's after an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl came to light, the court heard.
Brewer said at the age of 49 he fell in love with the girl and felt ‘desolate’ when she ended the relationship. She visited his office where he would persuade her to take off her top and bra and he would fondle her.
The prosecutor pointed out to the jury the similarities between what the alleged rape victim said in the witness box and the evidence of the witness who had a relationship with Brewer.
“That is exactly as it happened with the victim. Step by step,” Mr Cadwallader said.
“Nothing happened with me and her in the office,” Brewer replied.
The prosecutor continued: “Are you sexually attracted to schoolgirls?” “No sir,” the defendant replied.
Brewer, of Swarthmore Road, Birmingham, denies rape and eight counts of indecent assault.
Hilary Brewer, of Knowl Gap Avenue, denies one count of indecent assault and aiding and abetting rape.