Louis' 'liar' lawyer! 'Spoofer' who falsely claimed Louis Walsh groped him says he now wants to be a solicitor
'Spoofer' who falsely claimed Louis Walsh groped him starts legal course and says he now wants to be a solicitor
A former dancer jailed for falsely accusing pop mogul Louis Walsh of groping him is now studying law and has told classmates he wants to become a solicitor.
Our pictures show Leonard Watters (32) attending a legal studies course at Cavan Institute as he attempts to make good on his promise to turn his life around.
We snapped Watters making his way back from lunch to attend his third week of a course aimed at securing a level 5 certificate in legal studies.
But the formerly talkative Watters declined to speak with our reporter when approached outside the educational facility.
Although several of Watters' classmates know of his colourful past, they say they are happy to see him doing well as he attempts to move on with his life.
"To be fair, he seems to be a nice easygoing type of fella," one source told the Sunday World.
"A lot of the students in here are doing the course because it will help open up doors in business management or areas like that - but he has told classmates he wants to go on and study law in Maynooth.
"He wants to become a solicitor."
According to the course literature, Watters' course is a one-year programme designed for those who wish to obtain a foundation knowledge of Irish law and legal processes.
"The course equips the learner with an introduction to the core principles of Irish law and the Irish legal system … and is particularly relevant for students who wish to pursue a Level 6 Legal Studies course in the Institutes of Technology or business/law degrees in university."
The literature states that the content to be studied will include: business administration skills; business law; communications; criminal law; database methods; legal practice and procedures, safety and health at work; word processing and work experience.
Watters' attempts to create a life for himself helping to uphold the law come almost a decade after he was jailed for his false allegations against Walsh.
In 2012, he was sentenced to six months in jail for falsely accusing X Factor judge Louis of groping him in a nightclub.
Watters pleaded guilty to making two false reports to gardai that the pop music mogul sexually assaulted him in Dublin nightspot Krystle in April 2011.
The then 24-year-old father-of-two from Navan, Co Meath, was described in court as a Walter Mitty-type character.
Pleading for a non-custodial sentence, Watters' solicitor, Cahir O'Higgins, said his client was a tragic figure whose life had been a litany of disasters from an early age.
"For ever and a day, he will be known as the guy who accused Louis Walsh in the wrong," he said.
At a previous hearing, Watters had apologised to Louis Walsh.
"I would like to sincerely apologise to Mr Louis Walsh for all the stuff I put him through. The allegation was false," he said.
Lead investigator Detective Inspector Michael Cryan told the court Watters had claimed the assault happened on Saturday, April 9, 2011 after Westlife had performed in Dublin's O2 Arena.
Watters and Walsh had been socialising in a pub and travelled to Krystle together, he said, but at about 4am to 4.30am Watters approached a garda on patrol outside the celebrity spot on Harcourt Street alleging he had been sexually assaulted by Walsh.
Watters was taken to Mountjoy Garda Station where he made the same allegation, before an examination at a sexual assault unit revealed bruising in his genital area.
More than two months later, on June 20, he showed investigators the toilet in the nightclub where he alleged the offence took place and made his first formal statement.
Within days, Mr Walsh was interviewed under caution and denied the allegation, added Det Insp Cryan.
Watters made a second false statement on June 27 and was shown CCTV from the nightclub.
"It became obvious the CCTV did not support his allegations," he added.
When Watters was arrested at his home on June 28 he admitted Walsh did not sexually assault him.
"He continued to claim he was sexually assaulted in the toilets but that Louis Walsh did not do it," the Detective added.
Speaking of the false allegations later, Mr Walsh said the publicity around them had left him feeling suicidal.
"I was on my way to do the Alan Carr show when I heard the story and I was suicidal, 'cause people are going to think there's no smoke without fire," he said.
"Your name is all your have, especially working with boy bands."
Walsh said that the experience had left him "scarred" and "weary", and he added: "My mother and family were cool about it. They didn't actually care.
"Simon [Cowell] rang me and he was the first person to say, 'I know it's not true' and then he defended me in the press. I never let my guard down ever since. It was a reality check for me."