The former frontman of Welsh alternative rock group Lostprophets has admitted to a series of sex offences.
Ian Watkins, 36, from Pontypridd, South Wales was faced with 24 sex offence charges but at the last minute pleaded guilty to 11 of them. Nine of the charges remained the same but two of the charges were downgraded from actual rape to attempted rape of an infant. He had previously denied all allegations and was due to stand trail at Cardiff Crown Court.
The disgraced signer admitted to three counts of sexual assault involving children, one charge of possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal and possessing and making child abuse images as well as being behind the plot to rape a child.
Watkins also plotted to use hard drugs to turn babies into sex slaves and ‘teach’ babies how to use drugs. Police found meth, cocaine and GHB during their searches of Watkins home.
However, he insisted he had no memory of what would have been key video evidence at the trial showing him abusing his victim.
The evidence against the defendant came from computers, laptops and mobile phones. One laptop seized from Watkins’s home was password protected with an obscenity relating to sexual activity with children. The court heard that he filmed and kept the episodes of abuse.
The court heard how he plotted the abuse with two mothers in a series of text and internet messages. The women were described in court as Woman A and Woman B.
Referring to the two women, prosecuting barrister Chris Clee QC said: “Both women sexually abused their own children and made them available to Watkins for him to abuse and that drugs were a “regular theme” in his dealings with the two other defendants”.
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.
The court also heard that in Oct 2006, Watkins met up in a hotel with a 16-year-old girl from Boston, who he had met 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 fan of the band.
Mr Clee told the court: “He [Ian Watkins] accepts he was a determined and committed paedophile. Sally O’Neill, defending, said the singer was under the care of a psychiatrist.
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.”
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Doyle from South Wales Police said: “This investigation has uncovered the most shocking and harrowing child abuse evidence I have ever seen. There is no doubt in my mind that Ian Watkins exploited his celebrity status in order to abuse young children. Today’s outcome ensures the three people responsible have been brought to justice.”
He added that today’s guilty pleas did not mark the end of the investigation and the force would work “tirelessly” to identify other victims or witnesses which are thought to be worldwide. Sentencing will take place on 18 December.