Case against Brown like ‘episode of Father Ted’, defence claims

Closing statements as Dana’s brother faces five counts of indecent assault

Child sex abuse allegations against the brother of former Eurovision winner Dana Scallon were just an "absurd and surreal" attempt to support defamation claims against her, a court heard.

Making his closing statements to the jury at Harrow Crown Court this afternoon, defence barrister Martyn Bowyer said the prosecution's case against John Brown had at times resembled "an episode of Father Ted".

Mr Brown (60) faces five counts of indecent assault against two girls under the ages of 13 and 16 at various times and locations in the 1970s. He denies all of the charges.

The defence say the claims have been fabricated by the victims and their families, and supported by some members of Mr Brown’s own family, following bitter disputes over money and the ownership of a shared business interest.


The first alleged victim and her mother are suing Dana in Ireland for defamation after she stated the sex abuse claims were “malicious lies” during two television interviews in the middle of her 2011 presidential election campaign.

Mr Bowyer emphasised that the abuse claims were first raised in the USA in 2008, yet no formal complaint was made to British police until 2011, only days after lawyers became involved in the subsequent defamation case.

Mr Bowyer said: “It is 2011, Dana revives her political career and she is a visible and easy-to-hit target.

“Does this just give you a little clue as to how this went? You can imagine how the discussions went with (their lawyer) about the defamation case. It wouldn’t have a cat in hell’s chance of succeeding if she hasn’t reported it (the abuse) to the police.

“But if you play with fire you get burnt. And they (the first alleged victim and her family) have got their fingers very burnt and they found themselves in a position where they had no choice but to complain to the police.”

Mr Bowyer invited the jury to consider whether the second victim had been coerced into giving a false testimony by the family of the first victim, who he said went “trawling and fishing” for other witnesses to back up their claims.

He also pointed out how the first alleged victim and her mother flew over from America and “delivered” the second victim to the police.

The barrister said: “It is an absurdity. My learned friend says that if this was some sort of Machiavellian plot then they’ve not done a very good job.

“But, ladies and gentleman, you’ve seen the players. It has been like watching an episode of Father Ted at times.

“(The first alleged victim and her mother) accepted they had contacted…(other people)…to see if they had been abused. They were trawling, fishing for other victims.”

Earlier the prosecution delivered its closing statements saying that Ms Scallon and her brother had delivered a “slick presentation” to a jury as they continued their cover-up of his alleged sex offences against underage girls, a court heard today.

Claire Howell, prosecuting, told the jury there had been a cover up of the alleged offences for more than 30 years, making it “very difficult for those involved to come clean”.

Addressing the jury, Ms Howell said: “He says this is all a wicked conspiracy and all of the witnesses for the prosecution, if he is right, are part of this evil.

Ms Howell laid out six points of evidence in the case she argued must point to the defendant’s guilt. She argued that a lack of detail on the part of the prosecution pointed to reliable testimony of those trying to remember something that happened decades ago, compared with what she claimed was a well-constructed and detailed story on the part of the defence. She said: “On the defence side you get the slick ‘I was in this place at that time’. On the prosecution side you get ‘I don’t know what time or day it was but this was how I felt’.”

Concluding her closing statement, she told the jury of the first victim: “She came to court and told the truth. “It wasn’t some large intricate lie. You can be sure of this defendant he is guilty on every count.”

Judge Graham Arran will begin his summing up tomorrow.