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Radio Sandwell News

Lostprophets' Ian Watkins guilty of child sex offences

2013-11-26 17:26:00

Ian Watkins
Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins accepted he was a 'determined and committed paedophile'

Ian Watkins, singer of Welsh rock band Lostprophets, has pleaded guilty to a series of "depraved" child sex offences including attempted rape of a baby.

He had previously "furiously denied" the allegations.

The 36-year-old from Pontypridd had been due to stand trial at Cardiff Crown Court alongside two women.

Watkins pleaded guilty to attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13 but not guilty to rape. This was accepted by the prosecution.

Sentencing will take place on 18 December.

Prosecuting barrister Chris Clee QC told the court: "Ian Watkins was the lead singer in a successful band called the Lostprophets.

Ian Watkins
Watkins founded Lostprophets in 1997

"He accepts he was a determined and committed paedophile."

Watkins also admitted three counts of sexual assault involving children and six involving taking, making or possessing indecent images of children and one of possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal.

The evidence against the defendant came from computers, laptops and mobile phones. with some recovered from "cloud" storage.

The court heard that he filmed and kept the episodes of abuse - which took place in various hotels in London and south Wales - that were recovered by police.

Some of the evidence was too extreme and distressing to report.

'Teach babies to take drugs'

Referring to two women standing alongside Watkins in the dock, Mr Clee said: "Both women sexually abused their own children and made them available to Watkins for him to abuse."

The court was told how the abuse of the children by all parties was also evident in text messages.

Watkins sent a text to one of the women saying: "If you belong to me, so does your baby."

Lostprophets, an alternative rock band from Pontypridd
in the south Wales valleys, formed in 1997.

 

The band was founded by lead singer Ian Watkins,
bassist Mike Lewis, drummer Mike Chiplin and guitarist
Lee Gaze.

 

They released five albums, and their biggest hits included
Last Train Home and Rooftops. The band sold about 3.5
million albums worldwide.

 

Their music received heavy airplay on mainstream radio
stations and they were a staple festival act at the likes of
Reading and Leeds, but they struggled to be taken
seriously in the rock fraternity as their music became
increasingly pop-orientated.

 

The band announced they were splitting up in October,
ten months after Watkins was charged.

 

Former south Wales music journalist Gavin Allen says:
"They achieved real success, but their career - and back
catalogue - will now be so tainted that it is hard to see
any radio stations playing their music again.

 

"Their legacy has just vanished."

In an exchange involving the other woman, she sent Watkins a message along with an image of her child to the effect that her child needed to know she was not loved.

Watkins also planned to "teach" the babies how to take drugs, the hearing was told.

Mr Clee said drugs played "a significant part in his offending against children".

Police found meth, cocaine and GHB during their searches.

Mr Clee told the court drugs were a "regular theme" in his dealings with the two other defendants.

Watkins told police during interviews he was being stalked by "a crazed fan" and other people had access to his computers.

He claimed he was the "victim of a malicious campaign" against him.

The court heard in Oct 2006, Watkins met up in a hotel with a 16-year-old girl from Boston, whom he had met during during a Lostprophets concert.

She dressed in a schoolgirl's outfit and he filmed their encounter.

In Oct 2008 he filmed himself having sex with another 16-year-old girl, who was also a Lostprophets fan.

'Graphic'

One of the two women charged alongside Watkins, Woman A, admitted the attempted rape of a baby after denying rape and two charges of sexual assault as well as taking and distributing an indecent photograph of a child.

Woman B pleaded guilty to conspiring to rape a child, three sexual assault charges and four charges of taking, possessing or distributing indecent images.

After hearing legal argument from barristers, Mr Justice Royce called the jury into court and told them: "There will not be a trial in this case. The defendants have all pleaded guilty to nearly all the charges against them. The prosecution does not seek a trial in these circumstances.

"You have been saved from having to watch extremely graphic and distressing material."

Sally O'Neill, defending Watkins, said the singer was under the care of a psychiatrist.

Lostprophets, who have sold 3.5m albums around the world, were co-founded by the singer in 1997.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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