Former Chetham's director Michael Brewer stripped of OBE

Queen annuls honour for services to music after 68-year-old jailed for sexually abusing pupil more than 30 years ago

Michael Brewer, the disgraced former music director of one of the UK's most prestigious music schools, has been stripped of his OBE following his conviction for sexually abusing a pupil.

Brewer, 68, was jailed for six years in March for indecently assaulting Frances Andrade more than three decades ago, when he taught at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester.

Andrade, a professional violinist and mother-of-four, killed herself days after being branded a fantasist in the witness box at his trial.

It emerged on Tuesday that the Queen had formally "cancelled and annulled" his honour, granted for services to music.

Brewer was director of music at the £31,000-a-year school until 1994, when he left after having an affair with a sixth form student. That girl, now an adult, gave evidence against him at his trial, alongside Andrade.

Never disciplined by the school, Brewer went on to work on the BBC series Last Choir Standing and helped found the National Youth Choir. He was awarded the OBE for services to music in the New Year's honours list on 31 December 1994, just after leaving Chetham's.

An announcement in the London Gazette on Tuesdaystated: "The Queen has directed that the appointment of Michael Curtis Brewer to be an Officer of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated 31 December 1994, shall be cancelled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the register of the said order." Under official rules, honours can be taken away from people who have "done something to damage the honours system's reputation".

Reasons to revoke an honour include being jailed for at least three years or being struck off by a professional body relevant to the honour.

Last year, former RBS boss Fred Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood for his role in the banking crisis.

In 2008, the Queen revoked the same honour from the Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe.

The honours forfeiture committee considers each case confidentially before making a recommendation.

The prime minister then sends the decision to the Queen who decides if the honour should be forfeited.


Helen Pidd, northern editor

The GuardianTramp

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