Cliff Richard backs Dana's brother as he mulls libel case over sex abuse claims

Cliff Richard backs Dana's brother as he mulls libel case over sex abuse claims
John Brown with his sister, singer Dana Rosemary Scallon, outside Harrow Crown Court after he was found not guilty of five counts of historic sex abuse. Photo: PA

Cliff Richard and X Factor judge Louis Walsh have offered support to the brother of singer Dana Rosemary Scallon as he threatens legal action against police and the media for their handling of sex abuse allegations.

John Brown was acquitted in 2014 of five counts of indecent assault against two girls under the age of 13 and 16 at several locations in Northern Ireland and England during the 1970s.

He had denied all of the claims and that his sister, a former Eurovision Song Contest winner for Ireland, helped him to cover up the allegations.

Lawyers for Mr Brown are now considering taking legal action against media outlets, the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for libel.

They claim that libellous comments were made before, during and after Mr Brown's trial at Harrow Crown Court in England.

Mr Brown said it has been a "horrendous experience" for his family.

He added: "In effect, both Dana and I were put on trial."

Ms Scallon said: "Worldwide damage to your reputation, integrity and good name can never be undone."

Mr Brown has received support from celebrities who have also been cleared of sexual abuse allegations.

Among those to give their support are Cliff Richard, BBC radio DJ Paul Gambaccini and Louis Walsh.

"I have known Dana and John for many years. I fully understand the terrible time they went though," said Mr Walsh.

Mr Richard said: "I would like to join the growing band of those people who like me have been put through the most agonising emotional trauma and I pray that together we, with Dana and John, will eradicate that destructive act known as 'a false accusation'.

"I wish John and Dana success in their battle."

Mr Gambaccini, added: "No man can acquiesce in his attempted annihilation. I fully support John Brown and Dana and urge them to see their legal action through to their conclusion".

Solicitor Kevin Winters of KRW Law human rights law firm, said they are considering lodging civil proceedings in the Dublin and Belfast High Courts against a number of individuals and media outlets and also against the Metropolitan Police in London.

He added: "We are furthermore considering the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in respect of its advisory and prosecuting functions.

"We are hopeful that given the extreme seriousness of the issues involved that there may be a resolution to the damage caused, but failing that, cases that are taken will be expedited as quickly as possible."

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