The 36-year old Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins was charged today after pleading guilty to 13 child sex offences. The most serious charges were attempting to rape a baby and conspiring to rape another child. Watkins was also found to have 90 images of children (two at the highest level) in addition to 22 images of bestiality. Watkins received 29 years plus six years extended license. The judge directed that Watkins must serve two thirds of his 29-year sentence before he would be eligible for parole.
The two women, referred to as Woman A and Woman B, both mothers of children involved in abuse with Watkins, were also sentenced for child sex charges. Woman B is a 24-year-old who pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 by touching and penetration, conspiracy to rape a child under 13, conspiracy to sexually assault a girl under 13, and photograph-related charges. She received 17 years. Woman A is a 21-year old who pled guilty to aiding and abetting an attempted rape, sexual assault of a child under 13, and photograph-related charges. She received 14 years.
Watkins was charged with 23 child-related crimes and one bestiality crime December of 2012. Six months later he released his first public statement maintaining his innocence. He was denied bail. Watkins changed his plea November 26, pleading guilty to 13 sex offences.
Justice Royce in his ruling told Watkins, “I am satisfied that you are a deeply corrupting influence. You are highly manipulative,” and, “You are a sexual predator. You are dangerous. The public, and in particular young females and children, need protection from you.”
The main theme of Watkins defense was that fans constantly bombarded him with sexual attention, and that he was not in control because of drug use, and it argued for mitigation on grounds that his guilty plea avoided the need for a trial.
The defense stated that Watkins received a lot of attention as a rock star, that Watkins was “bombarded” by fan messages “24 hours a day, seven days a week,” many of which had content characterized as “extreme depravity.”
The defence asserted that Lostprophets fans would resort to “extraordinary” tactics to get Watkins attention. “I don’t for one moment pretend that Ian Watkins didn’t fully take part and reciprocate in these fantasies,” argued his counsel, “But it is marked that often the initiator was the fan, whether it is one of the co-defendants or not.”
The defense said that one of Watkins “obsessions” was filming his sexual acts. It also cited a pre-sentence report to the effect that Watkins, while “preoccupied” with sex, did not have a “child sexual preference.”
In a statement Nov. 27 Watkins attempted to mitigate his own guilt, saying that it was hard because a lot of the messages he sent were meaningless and just written to show off when he was under the influence of drugs. Watkins further stated that there was no medical evidence that anyone was harmed. He reiterated that he was not a pedophile, and that he plead guilty so that a trial would be avoided, nor realizing that it implicated him so strongly in crimes with children.
Watkins’ defense commented that while the videos involving children made Watkins feel “sick” it “gives him comfort” knowing that no children were hurt.
The defense for Woman A employed the theme of a girl who was “vulnerable and exploited and allowed herself to be so,” detailing how Watkins introduced her to a world of drugs, sometimes pressing her into using, and dosing her with heroin. It was argued that Watkins “manipulated and corrupted” Woman A to “facilitate” Watkins’ urges, and that Woman A was “deeply remorseful.”
In describing the “rape” of the son of Woman A, reviewed on video, the prosecution stated that what was extreme about the video was probably not the type of sexual activity but that it was a mother and her young child.
Woman B’s counsel used a similar theme, describing Woman B as “very young and immature” and having an undiagnosed personality disorder in addition to post-natal depression when she first began chatting with Watkins through messages.
During the sentencing, the judge claimed that he could see that Woman B took “obvious enjoyment” out of abusing her child. This statement led to a dispute with Woman B’s counsel, and Woman B had to be removed from the court for her own safety.
The police have reminded the population at large that they must keep the identities of these women secret to protect the futures of the children involved. The judge commented to the effect that the younger child would not remember but would later learn of the events and that there was no guessing what the psychological effect of that discovery might be.
Watkins trial is over for now, but the case is not closed. A previous girlfriend, 38-year-old Joanne Mjadzelics AKA Joanne Majic, sometimes-escort and sometimes-girlfriend of Watkins between 2006 and 2008, has come forward to report that she went to police multiple times notifying them about Watkin’s criminal activity. She first called them in 2008 after they broke up. “I was literally calling them every day at one point,” she stated to news media. “I’m so angry at them for ignoring me. I was made to look like a mad woman while Ian carried on like Jimmy Savile.”
Two police forces are now being investigated over these allegations. One South Wales detective has been suspended. Detectives are in touch with Interpol, US Homeland Security, and the German Federal Police, and are looking into leads in the US and Germany – just two of the countries toured by the band – in regards to Watkins child sex charges.
By Day Blakely Donaldson