Northern Ireland

John Brown, brother of Dana, cleared of 1970s sex abuse charges

John Brown and family members outside Harrow Crown Court
Image caption John Brown was cleared of all charges

John Brown, the brother of Eurovision winner Dana, has been cleared of five counts of historic sex abuse.

The 60-year-old, from Bracknell, Berkshire, denied all five charges throughout the three-week trial at Harrow Crown Court.

He was cleared of indecent assault against two girls, aged 13 and 16, at several locations in Northern Ireland and England during the 1970s.

Dana closed her eyes and appeared to cry as the jury returned the verdicts.

The jury of six men and six women found him not guilty of two charges relating to the first complainant earlier, and later acquitted him of the three remaining counts relating to the second after almost 12 hours of deliberation.

Mr Brown had denied all of the claims and had denied that his sister, a singer and former Irish presidential candidate, helped him to cover up the allegations.

The pair hugged in court and were congratulated by other members of their family before leaving the courtroom.

Mr Brown's wife Patricia, along with Dana's husband Damien, and other family members all attended court to hear the verdicts.

Former MEP and All Kinds of Everything singer Dana appeared as a witness in the trial earlier this week when she dismissed the allegations as "lies".

She vehemently denied any knowledge of the abuse before the claims were first made in 2008 and insisted she was the target of the false allegations when they made headlines in the middle of her 2011 Irish presidential election campaign, in which her brother was involved.

Mr Brown has insisted throughout the case that the claims were invented by the first alleged victim following a bitter feud with her family over a shared business interest.

His defence barrister claimed the woman coerced the second victim to come forward with her own false testimony after going "fishing and trawling" for other victims.

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