Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Dana family 'helped me get through trial ordeal'

John Brown was acquitted of five counts of indecent assault against two girls aged 13 and 16 in Northern Ireland and England in the 1970s
John Brown was acquitted of five counts of indecent assault against two girls aged 13 and 16 in Northern Ireland and England in the 1970s

The brother of Eurovision winner Dana has spoken of how the support of his family and friends helped him survive his three-week trial for alleged sex abuse.

John Brown was acquitted of five counts of indecent assault against two girls aged 13 and 16 in Northern Ireland and England in the 1970s.

The 60-year-old, of Bracknell in Berkshire, always strenuously denied the charges against him.

Following the end of the trial, Dana, who rose to fame as a teenager winning Eurovision with the song All Kinds Of Everything in 1970, walked out of court arm-in-arm with her brother who she supported throughout the trial.

In an interview with the Sunday World, Mr Brown described how he "would have been found hanging from a tree", had he not had the backing of family and friends.

"I've been through a living nightmare," he said.

"I had some very dark days and contemplated the worst.

"But my faith and my confidence in the truth saw me through."

The father-of-three added: "It has been a harrowing experience for myself, my sister and the rest of my family. We stood together and we got through it."

Brown, himself a musician, told how a bitter split in his family over money and other issues led to the allegations, which were first raised in 2008, and the subsequent trail coming about.

"This was payback against me and my sister," he told the newspaper.

Dana, who served as an MEP for Connacht-Ulster, refused to comment on the outcome of the trial.

This is because of legal action against her from sister Susan Stein and niece Susan Gorrell over comments made about the allegations in a television interview.

In The Irish Mail On Sunday, Ms Stein, who gave evidence against her brother, said she would "hope" relations with her estranged sister could be mended but vowed to continue her legal action.

"It's very difficult," said the Iowa-based record producer, "you are still a family and you are still blood.

"I wish it was a different, but it isn't and we just have to proceed from there."

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