Dana cover-up claim aired

‘Dana’ Scallon (aged 62) covered up her brother’s sexual abuse of two under-age girls for decades, a court has been told.

John Brown, 60, is accused of five counts of indecent assault against two girls under the ages of 13 and 16 at different times and locations in Northern Ireland and England during the 1970s.

Dana Scallon

Dana Scallon

He denies the alleged abuse or that his sister helped him cover up the allegations.

But Claire Howell, for the prosecution, told a jury of six men and six women at Harrow Crown Court in north west London that the pair had both lied during Brown’s three-week trial.

“This defendant says that the complainants are lying, he says that this is a wicked conspiracy involving both women,” Ms Howell said during her closing speech.

“He says that all the witnesses who have given evidence for the prosecution are part of an evil conspiracy to accuse him of abuse that he did not commit.

“The prosecution say that the people who have agreed to lie to you in this case are the defence witnesses.

“It’s no sophisticated conspiracy, it’s a cover-up from many years ago, at a time when you might think that cover-ups of this sort did happen for various reasons.

“And, having covered it up, it’s very difficult for them to come clean about it for various reasons.”

Ms Howell said Brown and his sister had given a “slick presentation” to the court, with exact dates and details.

But she said that what the complainants remembered most was how they felt when they were allegedly abused.

And she claimed that the defendant, from Bracknell in Berkshire, had confessed the abuse to several people, saying of one of the complainants: “She came on to me.”

She added: “This family, the defendant and his sister, have known about this for years. They have all known about this for a very, very long time.”

Martyn Bowyer, for the defence, described the prosecution’s case against her brother as “fuzzy” on the details.

He said his client was an innocent man who had been “consistent throughout”.

And he asked the jury not to be influenced by recent high profile child abuse scandals.

“Offences of these kind are by their very nature highly charged,” he said. “Child abuse, wherever it takes place, is abhorrent.

“At the moment you cannot open a newspaper without being confronted with a new scandal.

“Whether it is TV personalities, politicians or just ordinary members of the public - it is the prevalent topic of the day.

“But I beg of you, do not let other cases or other personalities in any way colour your judgment and your verdicts in this case.”