Dana took brother to priest to cleanse him of sexual feelings towards children, court told

John Brown accused in Britain of abusing two girls in 1970s

Former candidate for the presidency Dana Scallon promised to take her brother to a priest to cleanse him of his sexual feelings towards children after he was accused of child abuse, a British court has heard.

The 1970 Eurovision winner then claimed her brother John Brown (60), was "cured", it was said. But it was alleged Mr Brown continued his abuse, which was covered up to preserve the "honour of the family name".

Mr Brown is accused of twice indecently assaulting one girl when she was aged between five and nine and indecently assaulting another girl three times when she was aged 10 to 14 in the 1970s, when he was in his late teens or early 20s.


Prosecutor Claire Howell told Harrow crown court how one of the girls’ mothers had approached former MEP and singer Ms Scallon about the inappropriate behaviour of her brother shortly after the abuse started.


“Attitudes towards sexual offending in the 1970s were different to now and this was a Catholic family,” Ms Howell told the jury. “This may have affected the way they reacted to what happened. There was real concern about the honour of the family name and the victim’s mother told Dana Scallon, who said she would ‘find treatment’ for her brother.

“Some time later, Dana told the mother that he had seen a priest and was cured. They all agreed not to tell the victim’s father.

Deeply religious

“This was a deeply religious family who were ashamed and in addition, this was a family member who they loved. The victim’s mother didn’t want to bring shame on the family or John Brown.”

The prosecution claims he went on to further abuse the two girls. One of his victims alleged she was abused by Mr Brown twice at an address in Wembley Park, London, as well as in her family home in the United States, the latter of which do not form part of the indictment against him.

The woman, now aged 47, fought back tears as she described how she said Mr Brown, a member of the wider family, forced himself on her as she slept. Mr Brown denies two counts of indecent assault against a girl under the age of 13 between September 28th, 1971, and September 21st, 1979.

He further denies three counts of indecent assault against a second girl under the age of 16. The trial continues.