Ian Watkins gets 35 years for child sex crimes
Disgraced Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins has been sentenced to 35 years in jail for 13 child sex offences.
The term includes 15 years for the worst crime of attempting to rape a baby. He will not be eligible for parole until at least 2036.
Described in court as a “determined and committed paedophile”, Watkins, 36, admitted the attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13; conspiring to rape a child; three counts of sexual assault involving children; seven counts of making or possessing indecent images of children; and one of possessing an extreme image involving a sex act on an animal.
Mr Justic Royce, presiding, told a “shaking and convulsing” Watkins: “This case breaks new ground. Any decent person looking at or listening to material here would experience shock, revulsion, anger and incredulity. What you did plumbed to new depths of depravity.”
He added that Watkins “showed evident delight” in his crimes and showed “an almost complete lack of remorse”.
Watkins was arrested on December 19 last year and charged alongside two women who cannot be named in order to protect their children’s identities. He “furiously denied” the allegations – but all three changed their pleas when their trials began last month.
Cardiff Crown Court heard today that the singer denied being a paedophile in a phone call made after he’d changed his plea, telling an unidentified friend: “It was megalolz. I don’t know what everyone is getting freaked out about.”
Watkins’s defence, Sally O’Neill QC, said he was now “ashamed and appalled”, and that his life had changed completely after he became addicted to drugs, and he did not recall committing the attempted rape. “Because he had no memory, he could not believe he had done that,” she said.
She argued that in changing his plea he’d saved the jury from “an extremely difficult and distressing trial” . But Mr Justice Royce, presiding, said it was “unrealistic” to expect the move to be mitigating.
The musician’s co-defendents, Woman A and Woman B, were sentenced to 14 and 17 years each for crimes including offering their children to Watkins as victims.
Meanwhile, South Wales Police have extended their investigation of Watkins’s crimes to Germany and the United States. A statement says: “This is complex and will take time. There are three investigations which cover a four-year period and involve numerous allegations and reports. The police response to each must be considered.” Detective Inspector Peter Doyle says he is “sure” more victims will be uncovered.
Earlier this month Watkins’s former bandmates said: “We never imagined him capable of behaviour of the type he has now admitted. We would urge any other victims to contact the authorities.”
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children can be contacted anonymously via phone or email 24 hours a day.