Sex abuse claims against Dana’s brother ‘malicious’

Allegations made up to destroy John Brown’s credibility as witness in civil dispute, court told

John Brown claims the first alleged victim and her family have made up the claims because of a dispute over the ownership of a mutual business interest and to support defamation claims the alleged victim and her mother are filing against his sister Dana Rosemary Scallon, above. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

John Brown claims the first alleged victim and her family have made up the claims because of a dispute over the ownership of a mutual business interest and to support defamation claims the alleged victim and her mother are filing against his sister Dana Rosemary Scallon, above. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Fri, Jul 18, 2014, 20:12

Sex abuse claims against a brother of Eurovision winner Dana Rosemary Scallon were “malicious allegations” made up to destroy his credibility as a witness in a civil dispute over money, a British court heard today.

John Brown (60), of Lilly Hill Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, faces five counts of indecent assault against two girls under the age of 16 at various locations in the 1970s.

Mr Brown, in evidence today at Harrow Crown Court, strenuously denied the allegations against him.

He said he was “dumbstruck and astonished” when the claims, which date back more than three decades, were first put to him in May 2008 during a civil action in the United States. Mr Brown was due to be a witness in a legal dispute over the ownership of a mutual business interest of his and the mother and father of the first alleged victim.

Martyn Bowyer, representing Mr Brown, asked him what he thought was going on at the time. Mr Brown said: “They had made malicious allegations against me to destroy my credibility, so effectively I was null and void as a witness.”

Mr Bowyer earlier took the defendant through a chronological timeline of his whereabouts and activities throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Asked whether he had ever abused any young girl in the manner suggested by the prosecution, Mr Brown said: “No, absolutely not.”

The court had earlier heard claims the allegations had been covered up by Dana and her family to protect the family name and her career.

The prosecution allege the former Eurovision winner-turned politician took her brother (Mr Brown) to see a priest to “cure” him of his urges towards children.

Asked whether he had ever gone to see a priest in those circumstances, Mr Brown said: “No, not at all.”

He also denied having any conversations with any member of his or the alleged victims’ families confessing to inappropriate behaviour.

Mr Brown also said he has gone through “three years of hell” since he was first made aware of the allegations.

He said he “could not even contemplate” the claims he inappropriately touched the two girls.

Under cross-examination, the father-of-three repeatedly denied the claims by the two alleged victims, now aged 47 and 53, replying “no” and “absolutely not” when they were put to him individually by barrister Claire Howell.

The first alleged victim, now 47, claims she was groped and sexually assaulted by Mr Brown on two occasions, first when she stayed at an address in Wembley, northwest London, when she was aged between five and seven, and again on a trip to Torquay when she was aged eight or nine. But Mr Brown told the jury he had never been with the girl at the Wembley address and had never been to Torquay in the 1970s. He said: “It is absolutely not true. I didn’t abuse her.”

Mr Brown was shown a picture of the girl on a visit to London in 1972, though he explained he would have been studying in Derry at the time. She also claims Mr Brown touched her inappropriately when he went to visit her family at their home in Iowa, though those allegations do not form part of the charges against Mr Brown as they are outside the jurisdiction of UK courts.

Mr Brown said he had only visited the girl’s family once in the 1970s, adding that he had gone with his wife Patricia and was never left alone with the alleged victim.

The second victim claims she was touched by Mr Brown as she slept alongside her sisters on two occasions when she was under the age of 16, first at an address in Northern Ireland and again at her home in Romford, Essex.

Mr Brown claims the first victim and her family have made up the claims because of a dispute over the ownership of a mutual business interest and to support defamation claims the alleged victim and her mother are filing against his sister Dana.

The former Eurovision winner is being sued by the pair after she said during a television interview that the claims about her brother were “vile and malicious lies”. He alleges the second victim was coerced into testifying by the first victim and her family to support their own evidence and ultimately back-up their defamation claim.

The trial continues.