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Thursday, January 26, 2012 

Scum-watch: Promoting the lies of a "Walter Mitty" character.

The Sun, like most of the rest of the press, today notes the conviction of a certain Leonard Watters:

A JOBLESS dance teacher has been sentenced to six months in jail for falsely accusing X Factor judge Louis Walsh of groping him in a nightclub.

Leonard Watters, 24, admitted making two false reports to police that the music mogul sexually assaulted him in Dublin nightspot Krystle.

Father-of-two Watters — described as a "Walter Mitty" character — has apologised to Walsh, 59.

Lawyer Cahir O'Higgins told Dublin District Court Watters is now a laughing stock and has been treated as a pariah in his home town Navan, Co Meath.

The court heard Watters is penniless after blowing £670,000 compensation he received for serious burns.

He was allowed bail pending an appeal against his sentence.

Strangely, the Sun doesn't feel fit to mention that this "Walter Mitty" character, now being treated as a laughing stock and a pariah had his initial version of events most prominently promoted by... the Sun. Indeed, after the investigation against him was dropped, Louis Walsh made clear that he was considering taking legal action against the paper for splashing Watters' allegations all over the front page.

His threat presumably resulted in this sort of clarification in the Sun the following day. Gordon Smart took one for the team and wrote an award winning piece of arslikhan, making clear how Walsh is variously "one of the nicest blokes in showbiz", "one of the most friendly, decent and warm characters I have met in the music industry" and also that "he hasn't got a bad bone in his body — even after a big drink". Nonetheless, "[T]he Sun's duty is to report that news. It's our role to ask the difficult questions."

This ought to have been something both Dominic Mohan and Smart could have been asked about at the Leveson inquiry, yet for some reason both were at best, very lightly grilled. Still, plenty of time left for them to be recalled.

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