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Man Charged Over False Louis Walsh Claim

Man Charged Over False Louis Walsh Claim

3:05pm 29th June 2011
(Updated 8:04pm 29th June 2011)

A 24-year-old man has been charged with falsely accusing X Factor judge Louis Walsh of groping him in a nightclub.

Leonard Watters has appeared in court over unfounded allegations that the pop music mogul had indecently assaulted him on a night out in Dublin.

Watters, who was granted bail on condition he does not contact Walsh or anyone from the boyband Westlife, is charged with making a false report to Irish police.

He appeared at a brief sitting of the Dublin District Court on Wednesday afternoon.

After the allegations were first made, a spokeswoman for Walsh, 58, said he would "willingly cooperate" with any investigation by police.

She said at the time: "Louis categorically denies any wrongdoing and will fight to clear his name."

The court was told the claim against Walsh was made on June 20 at Harcourt Terrace Police Station in Dublin.

Watters was charged under section 12 of the Criminal Law Act and penalties for the offence range from a fine of 500 euro (£450) to five years in prison.

The accused has told investigating officers he has no fixed abode but the court heard he is from Navan in County Meath.

Judge William Early granted bail on a total of three conditions.

As well as avoiding contact with Walsh and Westlife, he must not interfere with any other potential witnesses and must provide an address.

The unemployed man was also ordered to pay a bond of 300 euro (£269) to secure his release on bail.

There was no objection from the state solicitor and the case was adjourned until September 7.

Watters was arrested in his home town on June 28 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 an unfounded allegation of indecent assault was ever published and he has 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."

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