An out-of-work dance teacher, who made unfounded allegations that he was sexually assaulted by X-Factor judge Louis Walsh, was jailed today for six months.
Leonard Watters (aged 25), a father-of-two from Woodview, Navan, Co. Meath, was given a six-month term in January at Dublin District Court but was released within minutes after he lodged papers to appeal the severity of the sentence.
Watters had pleaded guilty to making up unfounded claims that the pop guru groped him in the toilets of the Krystle nightclub, in Dublin city-centre, in April, 2011.
He admitted that he made false reports to gardai at Harcourt Terrace Garda station, on June 20 last and at his home on June 28 last.
Today his sentence appeal came before Judge Katherine Delahunt at the Circuit Court in Dublin.
In pleas for leniency, defence solicitor Cahir O’Higgins had told the court earlier that Watters had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of receiving severe burns in an accident when he was a child. He had developed a chronic alcohol problem, engaged in episodes of self harm and had attempted suicide.
The lawyer had said Watters’ actions had been a “cry for help” and he has now become regarded as a Walter Mitty-type person and “a figure of ridicule”.
Judge Katherine Delahunt had also been furnished with a booklet containing probation, psychological and psychiatric reports on Watters.
She said he had tried to “blame” his childhood accident, alcoholism and upbringing for his crime.
The judge said alcohol could not be used as an excuse and she noted that after the initial incident he continued with his “charade” until he was confronted by gardaí with irrefutable evidence which contradicted his claims.
She also said he was misleading to a psychologist and that he been found by a probation officer to be at the “upper moderate range” of re-offending unless he addresses his issues.
Judge Delahunt imposed an 11-month sentence but suspended the final five months of the term on condition that he is supervised by his probation officer for the same period and deals with his alcoholism.
She said the suspended portion of the sentenced could be activated if he does not get rehabilitation for his drink problem. Dressed in a black suit with a white shirt Watters remained silent and showed no emotion during his sentence hearing this morning.