Dana’s brother John Brown cleared of five sex abuse charges

‘The prosecution put myself and my sister on trial. The jury have delivered a verdict of no cover-up’

 Dana Rosemary Scallon (left) and her brother John Brown who was today cleared of  indecently assault on two girls. Photograph: National News

Dana Rosemary Scallon (left) and her brother John Brown who was today cleared of indecently assault on two girls. Photograph: National News

 

The brother of Eurovision Song Contest winner and former Irish presidential candidate Dana Rosemary Scallon has been found not guilty of five counts of historic sex abuse.

John Brown (60) was cleared of indecent assault against two girls under the age of 13 and 16 at several locations in Northern Ireland and England during the 1970s.

A jury of six men and six women found him not guilty of two charges relating to the first complainant earlier today and later acquitted him of the three remaining counts relating to the second this afternoon after a total of 11 hours and 54 minutes deliberation.

Mr Brown, of Bracknell, Berkshire, had denied all of the claims or that his 62-year-old sister helped him to cover up the allegations.

Wearing a grey suit and white shirt, he stayed calm as he was acquitted at Harrow Crown Court in north west London.

Ms Scallon, who was in court to hear the verdicts, closed her eyes and appeared to cry as the jury foreman returned the verdicts. The pair hugged in court and were congratulated by other members of their family before leaving the courtroom.

Mr Brown was first acquitted earlier in the day of the charges relating to the girl under the age of 13. The abuse was alleged to have happened in London and in a seaside town in the south west of England when the girl was as young as between five and seven years old.

She alleged that he had abused her again in a town she thought could be Torquay in Devon when she was between eight and nine.

After further deliberation the jury also cleared him of claims that he indecently assaulted a girl under the age of 16 in Northern Ireland and Romford in Essex.

It was claimed that the girl was aged 10 or 11 at the time.

Giving a statement on the steps of the courthouse, Mr Brown thanked the judge and the jury. He also praised the press for “respecting the integrity of my family” during the trial.

“We are here today because of the initial reporting of this during my sister’s campaign in the presidential elections of Ireland in 2011,” he added.*

“The prosecution have put both myself and my sister on trial. Not only her but our beliefs, our integrity and our faith. “The jury have delivered their verdict of no cover up. There is nothing to cover up - the accusations are unfounded.

“I came here an innocent man, I leave here an innocent man.” He cried as he thanked his wife and family for “their support in a horrific three years through many challenges”. “Judge (Graham) Arran said I am a person of good character and what sustained me was my faith in God that through this darkness there was light.”

Lead Prosecutor Claire Howell had told the jury that Brown and his sister put on a “slick presentation” during the three-week trial. But Martyn Bowyer, for the defence, described the prosecution’s case as “fuzzy” on the details and said his client had been “consistent throughout”.

And he also asked the jury not to be influenced by recent high-profile child abuse scandals. Ms Scallon said she could not comment on the outcome today because of ongoing defamation proceedings over claims she made in a 2011 television interview about the complaints against her brother.

PA

* This article was edited on August 7th, 2014