Woman Kills Herself After Testifying Against Sex Abuser
Frances Andrade's body discovered during the trial
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2013 5:38 PM CST
Frances Andrade.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – A mother of four has killed herself in Britain after testifying that her former music teacher had sexually abused her years ago, the Telegraph reports. The body of Frances Andrade, 48, was discovered just days after she testified that Michael Brewer, 68, had regularly fondled her in the 1970s. The jury was not told of her death until after passing its verdict: guilty on one count of indecent assault but not guilty on five others due to insufficient evidence regarding dates.

Andrade had a difficult time on the witness stand under the grilling of a prosecuting attorney Kate Blackwell, who called her a liar and a fantasist. "You are hugely insulting, even though it's your job," Andrade told her. Now a charity for the abused and a senior British lawyer are calling on courts to change the way they handle sex abuse cases, the BBC and Guardian report. Despite her previous suicide attempts, Andrade was apparently told by police not to receive therapy until after the nearly two-year case was complete. (Read about an Army captain who testified that a general threatened to kill her if she revealed their sometimes-abusive relationship.)

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Feb 10, 2013 8:37 PM CST
She was told by the police not to receive therapy until the case was resolved? Egad. I know I consult the police for all of my personal needs. Where was her attorney?
Feb 10, 2013 2:40 PM CST
Here is a story I know for a fact. A young man had a girl friend who was bipolar and often went through violent mood swings. In one of her moods, she attacked her boyfriend who held her wrists to prevent her from hitting him. A neighbour saw them through the window and called the police who came and arrested HIM, ignoring her protests that he was innocent. He spent three days in prison before being bailed out by his mother and spent about six months under the threat of a long sentence. He was found to be innocent at the trial but his legal defense was expensive, both in money and anxiety. We in America have a tendency to throw the book at men, to call them perps and to assume that they are guilty, even when the evidence is flimsy or non-existent. Not to say that men (or even women) do not commit crimes. But we have an extremely harsh attitude whenever a man is accused by a woman, or even when a man is accused by the cops or a neighbour on behalf of a woman (who does not even agree that the man is guilty as charged). Was the music teacher guilty? And if so of what? Anyway, whatever happened happened in 1970 or so. But we persist in describing Frances as victim and assume the music teacher is guilty - of whatever. The time of the Salem witches is back upon us except that this time the "witches" are male.
Feb 10, 2013 2:23 PM CST
You know, some "memories" are not true. There is a very interesting article by Oliver Sacks in the recent New York Review of Books who discovered that a memory which was vivid in his own mind was not in fact true. He vividly remembered a bomb which fell near their house during WW2. The bomb did in fact fall, but Sacks did not experience it because he was at school at that time. His mind later "constructed" a memory based on a letter he received from his brother (who had been present when the bomb fell). But Sacks felt as if he "remembered" experiencing the bomb and wrote about it in one of his early books. It is very very dangerous to put people in prison based on what someone "remembers" happened between them years ago. I am not saying that it cannot be true but only that it might not be true. Things can get even worse if a therapist "encourages" you to remember something from your childhood. The therapist's authority may cause you to make up memories in order to get her approval. America has an obsession with solving societal problems by putting people in prison. People are jailed in the US at many times the rate of other countries. The US has 730 prisoners per 100,000 people which is five times the rate of UK and seven times the rate of Germany. Even Russia and Cuba with their relatively high rates (around 500 per 100,000) do not compare to the US. So I do wish that vengeful Americans who are constantly demanding that someone be "put away for a long time" think about how the US rates compared to other nations. If California spends more on prisons than on higher education, maybe something is wrong? What is wrong is the harshness of our attitudes.