Northern Ireland

Dana's brother John Brown 'wasn't sick any more'

John Brown
Image caption John Brown denies five counts of indecent assault

Dana claimed her brother was "much better" and "isn't sick anymore" as she told an alleged victim to "forget about" sex assaults, a court has heard.

John Brown, 60, of Lilly Hill Road, in Bracknell, Berkshire, denies five counts of indecent assault against two girls.

The alleged offences happened in the 1970s.

On Tuesday afternoon, Harrow Crown Court heard evidence from the husband of one of the alleged victims.

He said his wife told him about the alleged abuse soon after they met in August 1986.

He told the court: "She said John did some things to her like touch her. She said he grosses her out, that he's disgusting and she feels uncomfortable around him.

"She said he would come up behind her and grope her, or whatever you want to call it, and do things to her and grab her and inappropriate touching."

Under cross-examination by a defence barrister, the husband said his wife had told her mother and as well as Dana Scallon about the abuse claims when the couple were at the former pop star's house in Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1990s.

He said: "Her mother went to John and said 'you need help' and then Dana told the alleged victim to forget about it, 'he's much better, he's not sick anymore'."

The barrister then suggested he and his family continued to associate with Brown for many years after he claimed to know about the sex abuse.

The witness denied this.

The defence barrister then accused the witness of making up his story because of a grudge against Mr Brown stemming from a mutual business interest.

The barrister said: "This is all stuff you have been told to say isn't it? You would say absolutely anything to get to John Brown wouldn't you?

"You have come here to drip poison all over John Brown, haven't you?"

The witness again denied the accusations.

'God forgave him'

Earlier, a brother of a woman allegedly abused by Mr Brown claimed Dana told him that God had forgiven him and he needed to as well.

The first alleged victim, now 47, has said Mr Brown touched her inappropriately on four occasions, in the UK and USA.

Giving evidence on Tuesday morning, her brother said Mr Brown apologised to him a week after he was told about the abuse, sometime between 1989 and 1991.

The brother said he walked in on an argument between his sister and mother at the time in which his mother said to her daughter "you may as well tell him, you want to tell the world".

He told the court: "She told me John had abused her when she was younger. I just remember being very angry - I don't think I could tell you what I said.

"My mother went downstairs and me and her got into a fairly heated argument. I was angry that my mother thought my father shouldn't know and I didn't understand why [Mr Brown] would have been coming back to our house all the time.

"I was so angry and my mother was terrified I would tell my father. I remember [Mr Brown] speaking to me and telling me 'it was a long time ago'. I don't remember if it was face-to-face or over the phone, I just remember speaking to him."

However, a defence barrister, cross-examining the witness, later suggested the conversation had never taken place, which the brother said was "a lie".

The barrister accused the witness of making up his testimony to get back at Mr Brown over a business disagreement.

He said: "Was it on the phone or not? It was a fairly major thing. If it had been face-to-face you would have wanted to hit him wouldn't you?"

The witness replied: "I would have beat him."

The barrister said: "You don't like John Brown one bit do you? He has opposed at every step your involvement in [the business]."

The witness replied: "I don't care about [the business]. I don't like John Brown because he molested my sister."

The court also heard how the brother discussed the allegations with Dana at a Christian conference at which she was singing in America two to three years after he had been told.

He said: "I had a conversation with her and she told me God had forgiven him and I needed to forgive him."

The barrister then pointed out the brother had flown over to England several years after the allegations surfaced to help Mr Brown move house.

He had also placed the accused on the board of a business he set up in America in 2000, though the witness said: "It was not my choice."

The barrister, addressing the witness, said: "You're just not telling the truth are you? You're fully aware that this has surfaced because of a bitter feud and you're backing up your family. You have an agenda, don't you?"

The witness replied: "I'm here for one reason and that is to stop a man hurting another child."

The case continues.

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