Dana's brother takes stand in abuse trial

Friday 18 July 2014 21.53
The court earlier heard claims abuse allegations had been covered up by Dana and her family
The court earlier heard claims abuse allegations had been covered up by Dana and her family

A court has heard that sex abuse claims against a brother of Eurovision winner turned politician Dana Scallon were "malicious allegations" made up to destroy his credibility as a witness in a civil dispute over money.

John Brown, 60, of Lily Hill Road, in Bracknell, Berkshire, is accused of five counts of indecent assault against two girls under the age of 16 at various locations in the 1970s.

Mr Brown took the witness stand for the first time today to strenuously deny all of 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 bitter legal dispute over the ownership of a mutual business interest of his and the mother and father of the first alleged victim.

In the middle of his deposition for the case, in which he was answering questions from the attorney of the alleged victim's mother and father, a break was called, Harrow Crown Court heard.

When the parties returned, Mr Brown told the court that it was put to him for the first time that he had abused their daughter.

He said: "I was dumbstruck - I was absolutely astonished and denied it.

"I wasn't a party to it [the civil dispute], in the end I wasn't a witness and I didn't attend the hearings."

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 if 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 politician took her brother, Mr Brown, to see a priest to "cure" him of his urges towards children.

Asked if 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 his inappropriate behaviour.

Mr Brown denies five counts of indecent assault against two girls under the age of 16 at various locations in the 1970s.

The trial continues.