Saturday 20 January 2018

The face of Louis Walsh accused in court

Leonard Watters. Photo: Collins
Leonard Watters. Photo: Collins
Louis Walsh. Photo: PA
Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

A man who accused X Factor judge Louis Walsh of groping him in a nightclub has been charged with a second count of inventing the story.

Leonard Watters is accused of knowingly making a false report to Irish police, on two occasions, that the pop music mogul sexually assaulted him in top Dublin night-spot Krystle.

Watters, 24, appeared at the city's District Court, where he was granted continuing bail until November 2.

Detective Inspector Michael Cryan told the court Mr Watters said "nothing to say" when charged with the second offence, before the hearing.

"The allegation is that Mr Watters made two statements to An Garda Siochana alleging he was sexually assaulted by Louis Walsh in a Dublin nightclub," said Mr Cryan.

Penalties for the alleged offences, which are under section 12 of the Criminal Law Act, range from a €500 fine to five years in prison.

The first statement was made at Harcourt Terrace Garda station in Dublin city centre on June 20, and the second was given to gardai at Mr Watters' home address in Navan in Co Meath on June 28 - the day before he was charged and first taken to court.

Dressed in a black V-neck jumper, white shirt and black trousers, Watters made no comment during short hearing.

In an application for legal aid, Mr Watters' solicitor Cahir O'Higgins said his client was a father of two on disability benefit of €188 a week who paid out €30 a week in rent.

Judge Cormac Dunne granted an application for the disclosure of interview notes held by investigators and CCTV footage of Krystle nightclub and the environs of the celebrity spot on Harcourt Street, which is connected to the Russell Court Hotel.

However he refused an application that the court order the Mater Hospital in Dublin to hand over medical notes from when Mr Watters was examined after he alleged the incident took place.

Judge Dunne told Mr O'Higgins the defence team should get the report themselves.

Walsh became a household name in 2004 when he was announced as a judge on X Factor and is the only remaining member of the original panel.

He has managed a number of groups and performers, including boy bands Boyzone and Westlife.

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