Belfast Telegraph

Louis Walsh says justice has been served as accuser gets six months

By Ken Sweeney and Sarah Stack

Louis Walsh last night said he felt a jail sentence was justified for the dance teacher who falsely accused him of a sex assault.

The 'X-Factor' judge said that "justice has been served" after Leonard Watters was jailed for six months, after losing an appeal against his sentence.

A judge ruled that Watters's lies were so serious that she increased the jail term to 11 months, but she suspended the last five.

Judge Katherine Delahunt warned the 25-year-old, who has three previous convictions, that he must co-operate with the probation services and enter an alcohol rehabilitation programme on release, or face going back behind bars.

"Alcohol and its abuse will never be accepted as an excuse for the commission of a crime," she said.

"It could possibly be seen to go some way towards an explanation for events of the night in Krystle, but you publicly continued with the charade for two months until you were confronted by irrefutable evidence that you were lying."

Watters, from Woodview, Navan, Co Meath, wore a black suit and white shirt in court yesterday. He showed no emotion as he was taken away by prison guards from the Circuit Court in Dublin.

The father of two falsely accused Mr Walsh of sexually assaulting him in the toilet of the celebrity nightclub Krystle, after a Westlife concert in April 2011.

Two months later he made two official reports to gardai and went to the 'The Irish Sun' newspaper, which printed the story before Mr Walsh was questioned under caution.

Within days Watters was shown CCTV footage from the club that disputed his claims -- and he admitted he had made up the allegation.

He was arrested at his home in Navan, Co Meath, and charged before publicly apologising to Mr Walsh for the unfounded claims.

In January, he was sentenced to six months in jail, which was put on hold pending an appeal.

Separately, Mr Walsh is suing News Group Newspapers, publisher of 'The Sun', for defamation over an article it published on June 23 last year.

The paper has accepted the accusation was false but denies defamation, saying that it acted fairly.

Belfast Telegraph


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