Former rock star Watkins to be sentenced today for child sex offences

Former rock star Watkins to be sentenced today for child sex offences

Former Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins will be sentenced today for a string of child sex offences – including the attempted rape of a baby.

The former rock star was described by a prosecutor as a “determined and committed paedophile” when he pleaded guilty to a series of charges last month.

In a series of text and internet messages, the 36-year-old paedophile plotted with two groupies to abuse their children.

As well as sexually touching an 11-month-old baby alongside the child’s mother, he encouraged another obsessed fan to abuse her own child during a webcam chat.

Police also found that Watkins secretly stashed child porn on computer hard drives and made his own videos.

Watkins previously insisted he was innocent and would fight until his last breath to clear his name.

But he pleaded guilty to 13 offences on the day the jury was due to be sworn in at Cardiff Crown Court, where he will appear for sentencing today.

Two female co-defendants, aged 21 and 25, also pleaded guilty. They cannot be named for legal reasons.

The guilty pleas spared a jury the need to sit through a harrowing 17-minute video of Watkins abusing a baby.

The abuse is thought to be so widespread that investigating officers have since launched a nationwide appeal for other potential victims to come forward – and are pursuing new leads after receiving a flurry of calls.

Prosecutor Christopher Clee QC said last month: “Ian Watkins was the lead singer of a successful band called the Lostprophets.

“He was also a determined and committed paedophile engaged in serious sex offences involving two babies.”

Mr Clee read to the court a series of text and internet messages between Watkins and two female co-defendants.

Catrin Evans, head of the complex casework unit at Crown Prosecution Service Wales, said the three defendants’ actions demonstrated sexual exploitation at its worst.

“A number of the victims are too young to be able to understand what has happened to them, yet the defendants exploited them for their own gratification,” she said.

Watkins admitted two counts of attempted rape and sexual assault by touching Woman A’s baby.

He also admitted two conspiracy charges: aiding and abetting Woman B to sexually abuse her own child.

Watkins also pleaded guilty to possessing and making indecent photographs of children, as well as having extreme pornographic material involving bestiality on his computer hard drive.

Woman A, 21, admitted six offences and Woman B, 25, pleaded guilty to seven offences.

According to sentencing guidelines, the starting point for attempted rape is 15 years custody.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 lists an aggravating factor as “the extreme youth” of a victim.

Prison sentences of longer than 30 months for sex offenders mean they will be on the sex offenders register for the rest of their life.

In October the remaining members of multiplatinum-selling act Lostprophets said the group had split up.

After Watkins’s guilty plea, ex-bandmates Luke Johnson, Jamie Oliver, Lee Gaze, Stuart Richardson and Mike Lewis released a statement condemning his behaviour.

“Many of you, understandably, want to know if we knew what Ian was doing. To be clear: We did not,” they said.

“We knew that Ian was a difficult character. Our personal relationships with him had deteriorated in recent years to a point that working together was a constant, miserable challenge.

“But despite his battles with drugs, his egotistic behaviour and the resulting fractures and frustrations within our band, we never imagined him capable of behaviour of the type he has now admitted.

“We are heartbroken, angry and disgusted at what has been revealed.

“Our hearts go out to Ian’s family, the fans and friends he betrayed and, most importantly, the victims of his crimes and others like them.

“We hope for justice but also that Ian will truly take responsibility for what he’s done.

“We would urge any other victims to contact the authorities.”

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