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Dana breaks down in dock as she denies being involved in a cover-up of brother's sexual abuse

By Shane Hickey

Former Eurovision winner Dana Rosemary Scallon has said allegations of indecent assault against her brother were put out to attack her and she denied claims she covered up sexual abuse for over 30 years.

Dana broke down in tears in court yesterday as she repeatedly denied that she was involved in a cover-up for John Brown (60) since the 1970s and that she organised a priest to treat him, claiming later that he was cured.

She took to the stand in Harrow Crown Court on the ninth day of the trial of her brother, who is accused of five counts of indecent assault – two against a child under the age of 13 and three against a child under the age of 16 at various dates in the 1970s. He denies all of the charges.

The court has previously heard claims from the prosecution that Dana was told of the allegations by the first alleged victim's mother and she had arranged for him to see a priest, declaring later that he had been cured.

Defence barrister Martyn Bowyer questioned her as to whether she had sought to cover up the allegations. "I have not, I have not," Dana said, becoming visibly upset.

She told the jury that the allegations first emerged as part of a court case in the United States in 2008 and that they were there to attack her and not her brother. They first became public during her Irish Presidential campaign in October 2011.

When it was put to her that if any public figure had covered up sexual abuse, it would be a devastating allegation, Dana said: "I was told it would be better to be charged with murder, especially in the middle of an election campaign."

It has been claimed that Brown assaulted the first alleged victim twice in the UK and twice in the US, where she lived.

The second two allegations are not part of the indictment as they happened outside of the jurisdiction.

It is also claimed that after the first alleged assault in Iowa that the mother of the child contacted Dana – they were said to be close at the time – to tell her of what was said to have happened and Dana said she would deal with treatment for Brown through a priest she knew called Fr Brown.

When questioned as to whether she got a phone call about the allegations at the time, Dana said: "Absolutely not, I did not." She denied that she had a conversation about treatment and said the only priest called Fr Brown she knew had died in the 1960s.

Dana said she had had very little contact with the victim. It is claimed that the woman, now 47, went to visit her during a summer season of performances at the time in the UK.

Dana said she did not perform in the named area of the UK until 1981.

Her husband, Damien Scallon, said the first time he had heard of the allegations was in 2008.

It has been claimed that Brown crawled into bed with the second alleged victim during which time his brother Gerald walked into the room.

Gerald Brown denied this in court yesterday, and also that he had told another brother, Robert, of a conversation where the accused had said he rubbed up against one of the victims.

Patricia Brown, the wife of the accused, said that if she thought her husband was guilty of anything he would not be living under the same roof as her and their two children.

The defence in the case finished yesterday and final arguments are expected to begin today before the jury is sent out to deliberate.

Belfast Telegraph

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