Northern Ireland

Dana brother John Brown 'said God forgave him'

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

Dana's brother admitted abusing a girl for 12 years, but claimed "God had forgiven him" as he apologised to the girl's father, a court has been told.

John Brown, 60, a brother of the former singer and Irish MEP, is accused of indecently assaulting two young girls in the 1970s.

The trial is taking place at Harrow Crown Court.

On the fourth day of the trial, the jury heard testimony from both parents of the first alleged victim.

The girl's mother angrily denied a suggestion under cross-examination that the accusations were all lies, while the child's father said he only found out about the alleged abuse 30 years on.

The first alleged victim claims she was assaulted by Mr Brown on four occasions in the UK and United States.

'Someone I trusted'

The court was told that the abuse had been kept secret from the girl's father for more than three decades, but he was finally told by his wife in 2005.

Shortly after that conversation in the kitchen of their Iowa home, the court heard how Mr Brown, who had been made aware of it, quickly called the father to apologise.

Choking up in the witness stand, the father said: "I was in shock. It was someone I had trusted, someone I had known. I asked who else knew and… [my wife] said the first person she told was Dana.

"I said 'everyone around me knew and I didn't?' I went to talk to… [my daughter] I didn't ask about the details, I didn't care about the details. I apologised to her, I wasn't there for her as a father.

"I came back home and went outside and broke down. I was outside for a while and when I came back in… [my wife] said John was on the phone. It was like a roller coaster.

Image copyright PA
Image caption A defence barrister claimed the allegations had been fabricated to back up defamation proceedings against Dana

"I [took the phone and] said 'yes John?'. He said 'I want to apologise for abusing your daughter over the period of 12 years. God has forgiven me and I want you to as well. I said 'John, it is too soon, I have just found this out'."

'Hated exchange'

The court earlier witnessed a heated exchange between the mother of the victim and Mr Brown's barrister, who said the allegations had been fabricated to back up defamation proceedings against Dana by the victim, now 47, and her mother.

One of the offences is alleged to have taken place during a solo visit by Mr Brown to the girl's family home in the US in around 1977.

The prosecution claim the family went on a boat trip, leaving the alleged victim and the accused alone with her baby brother in the house for the weekend.

The girl's mother claims she was told about the abuse when she returned home and confronted Mr Brown before driving him to the airport the following day to send him home.

But the defence barrister presented photographs to the girl's mother from that year which appeared to show Mr Brown had taken his then girlfriend and now wife Patricia, known as Pat, with him.

The barrister, addressing the girl's mother, said: "You see the point, that if his girlfriend Pat was with him then, unless she went on the boat with you, then he wouldn't have been alone in the house at all.

"And if she was with him when you told him to pack his things, then she has been left out of the story.

"You didn't confront him. You didn't drive him to the airport. It didn't happen."

In a raised voice and with tears in her eyes, the mother replied: "She wasn't with him. He molested my daughter in my home. I drove him to the airport.

"It did happen. You were not there, Pat was not there. Molestation of my daughter."

Mr Brown, of Lilly Hill Road, in Bracknell, Berkshire, denies the allegations.

The case, which is expected to last into August, was adjourned until Monday.

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