Teacher charged over Walsh claim

A DANCE teacher was charged with making a false accusation that he was groped by X Factor judge Louis Walsh in the toilets of a Dublin nightclub.

Father-of-two Leonard Watters, aged 24, who is from Navan, Co Meath, but has no fixed address, was arrested in his home town on Tuesday, after allegedly making an unfounded claim to gardaí that the pop guru had assaulted him in the Krystle nightclub following a Westlife concert in the O2 in April.

Dressed in dark blue jeans and a black jacket, he was brought before Dublin District Court yesterday charged under section 12 of the Criminal Law Act 1976 for making a false report to gardaí, on June 20 last at Harcourt Terrace Garda Station in the city centre.

He was not required to speak during the brief hearing and talked quietly to his solicitor at the outset of the case.

Detective Inspector Michael Cryan told Judge William Early that Watters was charged at Pearse Street Garda Station in Dublin at 11.31am yesterday.

In response to caution the defendant said “No reply”.

“He was then handed a copy of the charge,” the court heard.

Judge Early was told that there was consent to conditional bail being granted to Watters.

“The only objection is in relation to the address, an address has to be supplied,” Det Insp Cryan said.

He asked the court to impose bail conditions on the defendant: “To stay away from the Krystle nightclub and have no contact of any form with Louis Walsh or members of the Westlife band or any potential witnesses in this case.”

Defence solicitor Stephen O’Mahony said that an address was forthcoming and would have to be confirmed by gardaí.

Det Insp Cryan agreed and told the judge: “Once the person says he is welcome to stay there.”

Judge Early agreed to impose the conditions and set bail in Watters’ own bond of €300.

In relation to the legal aid Mr O’Mahony said: “There is no application at the moment.”

Watters took up bail shortly after the hearing.

He was ordered to appear again on September 7 next pending directions from the DPP.

A district court conviction for making a false report to gardaí can result in a fine or a sentence not exceeding 12 months.

Conviction on indictment following a jury trial carries a possible sentence of up to five years.

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