Leonard Watters faces trial for raiding man's bank account

Leonard Watters
Leonard Watters

A FORMER dance teacher has pleaded not guilty to raiding a man's bank account after he allegedly paid him a “social visit”.

Leonard Watters, 28, with an address at Woodview, Navan, Co.  Meath is accused of stealing a named man's wallet containing €60 and bank cards from his apartment in Kilmainham in Dublin on November 28 last. 

He also faces two counts of theft of €290 and €300 from bank machines at O'Connell Street and Temple Bar Square in the city-centre on the same date.

Defence solicitor Leonard Leader told Judge William Early at Dublin District Court that a hearing date was being sought.

Mr Watters was asked by Judge Early to choose his trial venue and said he wanted his hearing to take place in the district court, and not to go before a jury in the circuit court.

Dressed in a navy suit and white shirt, he also confirmed he was pleading not guilty to the charges. He was then remanded on continuing bail pending his non-jury district court trial which will take place in December.

At an earlier stage an outline of the evidence was given to the court.

It was alleged Mr Watters went to the man's Dublin home for a “social visit” before stealing his wallet and using his ATM card to take €590. 

Mr Watters was arrested by appointment on June 22 last at Kilmainham station. He was then charged with the three offences and “made no reply to charge after caution”.

Gda Graham O'Neill had said the DPP has directed “summary disposal”; this means the case should be dealt with at district court level and should not be sent to the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers. 

Outlining the allegations, Gda O'Neill had said the injured party's wallet containing his bank cards was stolen. “The accused is alleged to have taken it from his apartment during a social visit,” Gda O'Neill has also said.

Gda O'Neill had told the court he had taken statements and had agreed to furnish copies of them as well as CCTV evidence to Mr Watter's solicitor.

Free legal aid has been granted after the court heard Mr Watters in receipt of disability allowance.