PROSECUTORS have defended themselves after the victim of sex abuse by an East Lancashire woman and her former husband committed suicide after the pressures of giving evidence at their trial.

Jurors were only told at the end of Kay and Michael Brewer’s Manchester Crown Court trial that victim Frances Andrade’s body had been found part way through the legal proceedings.

Her family said the stress of being repeatedly called a ‘liar’ and a ‘fantasist’ by the Brewers’ lawyers had taken a tremendous toll on the mother-of-four.

Her son, Oliver Andrade, said while the Brewers had two years to prepare for the case, his mother only met the prosecutor 10 minutes before the trial. He also claimed she was advised not to seek therapy until the case was over.

Mr Andrade, also critical of his mother ‘reliving’ her ordeal through hostile exchanges with counsel, added: “The court system let her down.”

The CPS said Mrs Andrade restated her willingness to give evidence several times, and was assigned a witness care officer. She declined an offer to give evidence behind a screen.

Kay Brewer, 68, of Knowl Gap, Haslingden, and her ex-husband, also 68, are currently awaiting sentence after being found guilty of indecent assault.

Mrs Andrade was abused while a violin protege at Manchester’s Chetham’s School of Music.