Dana said God forgave brother for alleged abuse, court told

Relative forced to deny claims he had made up testimony to support family in bitter feud

The court  heard how the brother of alleged sexual abuse discussed the allegations with Dana (above) at a Christian conference in the US where she was singing, two to three years after he had been told. He said: “I had a conversation with her and she told me God had forgiven him and I needed to forgive him.”  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

The court heard how the brother of alleged sexual abuse discussed the allegations with Dana (above) at a Christian conference in the US where she was singing, two to three years after he had been told. He said: “I had a conversation with her and she told me God had forgiven him and I needed to forgive him.” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Tue, Jul 15, 2014, 18:35

A relative of a woman abused by John Brown has claimed the latter’s sister, Eurovision winner Dana Rosemary Scallon, told him at a Christian conference that God had forgiven him, a British court has heard.

The victim’s brother claims the former Irish presidential candidate said God had forgiven her brother, and he needed to as well.

Today, the relative, who cannot be identified in order to protect the alleged victim’s identity, was forced to deny claims at Harrow Crown Court that he had made up his testimony to support his family in a bitter feud with the defendant.

Mr Brown faces five counts of indecent assault on two girls under the ages of 13 and 16 at various locations and times during the 1970s.

The first victim, now 47, claims Mr Brown touched her inappropriately on four occasions in the UK and US.

Giving evidence this morning, her brother said Mr Brown apologised to him a week after he was told about the abuse, sometime between 1989 and 1991.

The brother said he walked in on an argument between his sister and mother at the time in which his mother said to her daughter: “You may as well tell him, you want to tell the world.”

He told the court: “She told me John had abused her when she was younger. I just remember being very angry - I don’t think I could tell you what I said.

“My mother went downstairs and me and her got into a fairly heated argument. I was angry that my mother thought my father shouldn’t know and I didn’t understand why…[Mr Brown] would have been coming back to the our house all the time.

“I was so angry, and my mother was terrified I would tell my father. I remember…[Mr Brown] speaking to me and telling me ‘It was a long time ago’. I don’t remember if it was face-to-face or over the phone, I just remember speaking to him.”

Defence barrister Martyn Bowyer, cross-examining the witness, later suggested the conversation had never taken place, which the brother said was “a lie”.

He accused the brother of making up his testimony to get back at Mr Brown over a business disagreement.

Mr Bowyer said: “Was it on the phone or not? It was a fairly major thing. If it had been face-to-face you would have wanted to hit him, wouldn’t you?”

The witness replied: “I would have beat him.”

Asked why he hadn’t, he added: “It is only out of respect for my mother that he is sitting over there today.”

Mr Bowyer said: “You don’t like John Brown one bit, do you. He has opposed at every step your involvement in…[a certain business is named].”

The witness replied: “I don’t care about…[the business]. I don’t like John Brown because he molested my sister.”

The court also heard how the brother discussed the allegations with Dana at a Christian conference in the US where she was singing, two to three years after he had been told.

He said: “I had a conversation with her and she told me God had forgiven him and I needed to forgive him.”

Mr Bowyer then pointed out the brother had flown over to England several years after the allegations surfaced to help Mr Brown move house.

He had also placed the accused on the board of a business he set up in the US in 2000, though the witness insisted “it was not my choice”.

Mr Bowyer, addressing the witness, said: “You’re just not telling the truth, are you? You’re fully aware that this has surfaced because of a bitter feud and you’re backing up your family. You have an agenda, don’t you?”

The witness replied: “I’m here for one reason and that is to stop a man hurting another child.”

The hearing continues.