A piece by James Gillespie in The Times two days ago:
Up to seven witnesses in a sex abuse trial endured by the brother of the former Eurovision song contest winner Dana could face prosecution for giving false evidence.
The Metropolitan police have sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) regarding the evidence given by the seven in 2014 when John Brown, 61, from Berkshire, was unanimously cleared of five historical counts of indecent assault.
The charges being considered against the former prosecution witnesses include perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
During the trial, two women claimed to be victims of abuse that they alleged happened when they were under the ages of 13 and 16 at locations in Northern Ireland and England during the 1970s.
Brown, who works in PR and the music industry, denied all the claims. It was also suggested by the prosecution that Dana — whose full name is Dana Rosemary Scallon and who won Eurovision in 1970 with the song All Kinds of Everything — helped him cover up the alleged offences.
If the CPS decides to prosecute, it will be the first time witnesses in a historical sex abuse case have faced trial for making false accusations.
Brown and his sister are being supported in their campaign to see prosecutions by the singer Sir Cliff Richard, the Radio 2 presenter Paul Gambaccini and the X Factor judge Louis Walsh, all of whom have faced false allegations, although they were not prosecuted. [J4MB emphasis]
A decision to prosecute in the Brown case would also increase the pressure to charge the witness known as “Nick”, whose claims of a Westminster VIP paedophile ring led to the £2.5m Operation Midland inquiry, which collapsed when it became clear he was a fantasist.
Brown said it was important that the witnesses in his case should face justice. The allegations surfaced for the first time only during a protracted commercial dispute between Dana, 66, and others.
The judge said during the trial that the two main complainants had put “their heads together” in making allegations.
“It [the claims] just came out of the blue,” Brown said. “The investigation took three years; I was on bail 773 days and I was rebailed seven times. There were as many as 32 police officers, four departments and up to £1.5m of taxpayers’ money involved. We had to sell our home and it cost my family £200,000. I didn’t see a penny back despite the fact that I am an innocent man.” After his acquittal he said: “In effect, both Dana and I were put on trial.”
In the trial, the evidence of the two main complainants was flawed to the extent that one was not even in the country at the time of the alleged abuse. There were also claims of abuse at a property that had not been built at the time. [J4MB emphasis]
Dana, who stood for the presidency in Ireland in 2011 and was an MEP from 1999 to 2004, said: “The fallout goes very wide . . . The worldwide damage to your reputation, integrity and good name can never be undone.
“We are seeking justice and truth . . . It is not just about one individual; it is really important for people to keep faith in the justice system. It is a message on behalf of the genuine victims of abuse.”
Solicitor Kevin Winters, of KRW Law, said: “Mr Brown and his sister Dana suffered a life-changing and terrible ordeal due to untrue accusations. Both have suffered incalculable damage to their good names, reputation and family life.
“The court transcripts, fabricated evidence and signed prosecution witness statements prove police had been knowingly misled by complainants and prosecution witnesses and that perjury was committed. There is sufficient evidence for prosecution.”
Brown’s case came at a time when the Jimmy Savile scandal had broken and police had set up Operation Yewtree to investigate allegations of sexual abuse against celebrities.
Richard, who was falsely accused in 2014 of historical sex abuse although he was not part of the Operation Yewtree investigation, 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’.”
Gambaccini was the subject of unfounded claims in 2013 and said he supported Brown. “No man can acquiesce in his attempted annihilation. I fully support John Brown and Dana.”
The Met are due to have a meeting with the CPS to discuss the case within the next few weeks.
SIR CLIFF PLEDGES HIS SUPPORT
Sir Cliff Richard, falsely accused in 2014 of historic sex abuse, said: “I pray that, together, we with Dana and John will eradicate that destructive act known as ‘a false accusation’.”
Paul Gambaccini, the DJ who was the subject of unfounded claims in 2013, said: “I fully support John Brown and Dana and urge them to see their legal action through to their conclusion.”
The X Factor judge Louis Walsh, who faced false allegations in a newspaper in 2011, said: “I have known Dana and John for many years. I fully understand the terrible time they went though.”
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