Man in court over Louis Walsh grope claim

An unemployed man who accused X Factor judge Louis Walsh of groping him in a nightclub has appeared in court charged with inventing the story.

Leonard Watters is accused of knowingly making a false report to gardai that the pop music mogul indecently assaulted him on a night out in Krystle in Dublin.



The 24-year-old was granted bail on condition that he does not contact Walsh or any member of Westlife.



Detective Inspector Michael Cryan told Dublin District Court that Watters made no reply when he was charged with the offence before the brief hearing.



He is accused of making the allegation against Walsh at Harcourt Terrace Garda station in the city centre on June 20.



Walsh has described the investigation over the last week as hugely distressing.



Dressed in a black top, blue shirt and jeans, the accused shook his head from side to side in court when asked if he was working.



Originally from Navan in Co Meath, he has told investigating officers he has no fixed address at the moment and plans to stay with a friend.



Judge William Early ordered Watters to pay a 300 euro (£269) bond to secure his release on bail.



Conditions include not making contact with Walsh, any member of Westlife, or any other potential witnesses and staying away from Krystle nightclub.



Watters also must provide an address within the next 24 hours.



There was no objection to bail from the State solicitor and the case was adjourned until September 7 at the District Court.



Watters, who was charged under section 12 of the Criminal Law Act, declined to comment as he walked from the Criminal Courts of Justice complex in Dublin flanked by two solicitors.



He covered his face with sheets of papers and pulled the hood of his jacket over his head.



Penalties for the alleged offence range from a 500 euro fine to five years in prison.



Irish music mogul Walsh became a household name in 2004 when he became a judge on The 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.



Watters was arrested in his home town, Navan, yesterday and taken to Dublin for questioning after Walsh was told by investigating officers that his name had been cleared.



In a statement, the Westlife manager said he was outraged that an unfounded allegation of indecent assault was ever published and he had instructed his libel lawyer.



He said: "I have robustly maintained from the outset that this alleged incident did not occur.



"I have no intention of letting this matter rest until I have received total and absolute vindication.



"This has been a hugely distressing time for me but I would like to thank all my friends and colleagues for their support and I am now just looking forward to getting back to work."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks