Wednesday, May 16, 2012

#Leveson #pressreform : Walsh Seeks SUN Documents In Blackmail Sex Entrapment Case.

X-FACTOR judge Louis Walsh is seeking access to documents to support his claim that the Sun newspaper offered to pay a man if he agreed to make what turned out to be a false sexual assault accusation against the entertainment manager, the High Court heard yesterday.

The documents, it is claimed, will show the Sun paid €700 to Leonard Watters (24) and promised to make more payments to him before a journalist accompanied him to a Garda station where he made his false complaint against Mr Walsh, Jim O’Callaghan SC, for Mr Walsh, told the court.

“The Sun directed the operation to take out Louis Walsh as a public person,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

Last January Mr Watters, from Navan in Co Meath, was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to making two false reports to gardaĆ­ that Mr Walsh sexually assaulted him in a toilet in Dublin’s Krystle nightclub on April 9th last year.
Mr Walsh is suing News Group Newspapers, publishers of the Sun, for defamation over an article published on June 23rd, 2011.
The defendant accepts the accusation was false but denies defamation and says it acted fairly and reasonably in relation to the publication.

The court heard Mr Walsh is seeking damages, including aggravated and exemplary damages.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill reserved judgment on an application by Mr Walsh’s lawyers for discovery (disclosure) of documents in the possession of the Sun, including but not limited to those held by Sun journalist Joanne McElgunn in relation to the false allegations.