Sunday 25 February 2018

Prosecution of Dana's brother 'like an episode of Father Ted'

Eurovision winner Dana and her brother delivered a "slick presentation" to a jury as they continued to cover-up his alleged sex offences against underage girls, a court was told.

The prosecution delivered its closing statements at Harrow Crown Court, where Dana's brother John Brown (60) faces five counts of indecent assault on two schoolgirls dating back to the 1970s.

Claire Howell, prosecuting, told the jury of six men and six women there had been a cover-up of the alleged offences for more than 30 years, making it "very difficult for those involved to come clean".

However, defence barrister Martyn Bowyer reminded the jury they must only convict the defendant if they are sure beyond any doubt of his guilt.

Mr Bowyer said the prosecution's case against John Brown had at times resembled "an episode of Father Ted".

Mr Brown is alleged to have abused the first girl on four occasions in the UK and US when she was under the age of 13. Two of the offences do not form part of the charges as they fall outside the jurisdiction of UK courts.

The second alleged victim claims she was touched by Mr Brown on two occasions, in Northern Ireland and in England, when she was under the age of 16.

The defence say the claims have been fabricated by the women and their families, and supported by some of Brown's own family, following bitter disputes over money and the ownership of a shared business interest.

The first alleged victim and her mother are suing Dana for defamation after she stated the sex abuse claims were "malicious lies" during two television interviews in the middle of her 2011 presidential election campaign.

Mr Bowyer emphasised that the abuse claims were first raised in the US in 2008, yet no formal complaint was made to British police until 2011.

He said: "It is 2011, Dana revives her political career and she is a visible and easy-to-hit target."

He insisted the prosecution witnesses, in particular the alleged victims, had "wriggled like maggots on a hook" when their evidence was contested in court.

He said: "But Mr Brown doesn't need to wriggle. He hasn't wriggled from the moment he was first questioned by police to when he walked back from the witness stand."

But Ms Howell said: "These are two women with no real link between them. Both say this defendant sexually abused them when they were little.

"He says this is all a wicked conspiracy and all of the witnesses for the prosecution, if he is right, are part of this evil.

"The prosecution say the people who have agreed to lie in this case are the defence witnesses. There was a cover-up many years ago at a time when cover-ups like this did happen.

"Having covered it up, it was very difficult for them to come clean for various reasons."

Judge Graham Arran will begin his summing up today.

Irish Independent

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