Belfast Telegraph

Sex abuse claims made up to ruin me: Dana brother

By Colin Francis

Sex abuse claims against a brother of Eurovision winner Dana were "malicious allegations" made up to destroy his credibility as a witness in a civil dispute over money, a court has heard.

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

The 60-year-old told a jury he has gone through "three years of hell" since he was first made aware of allegations he abused two young girls.

Brown took the witness stand for the first time yesterday 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.

Brown was due to be a witness in a bitter legal dispute involving the mother and father of the first alleged victim and a third party.

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

When the parties returned, 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 Brown, asked him what he thought was going on at the time.

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 time-line of his whereabouts and activities throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Under cross-examination yesterday afternoon, the father-of-three repeatedly denied the claims by the two alleged victims, now aged 47 and 53, replying "no" and "absolutely not" when they were put to him individually by barrister Claire Howell.

The trial continues.

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