Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins received a 35 year prison sentence in 2013 for child sex offences.
The offences included the attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13, conspiring to rape a child, three counts of sexual assault involving children, seven involving taking, making or possessing indecent images of children and one of possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal. Watkins pleaded guilty to all the offences except for the offence of rape of a child.
The sentencing Judge commented at his trial, “Those who have appeared in these courts over many years, see here, a large number of horrific cases, Ian Watkins has been given what is called an extended sentence. It is used for public protection in the case of offenders who are deemed particularly dangerous.
His total sentence is 35 years, 29 of which will be served in prison plus a six year period served in the community on licence. If he were to breach the terms of that licence, he could be immediately returned to prison.
He will have to serve two thirds of the 29 year custodial part of his sentence before he can be considered for release by the Parole Board – it does not mean he will be released at that point. At the time of release from prison, the six year extension on licence kicks in.
The legislation says the extension period is “of such length as the court considers necessary for the purpose of protecting members of the public from serious harm”.
“This case breaks new ground. Any decent person… will experience shock, revulsion and incredulity.”
He added it was a “classic case that the evidence was so overwhelming” there should not be credit given.”
The Independent Police Complaints Commission ( IPCC) have investigated South Wales Police’s handling of the case and have found that the Police missed a number of chances to bring Watkins to justice earlier.
If appropriate action had been taken, Watkins could have been brought to justice four years earlier than he was.
Between 2008 and 2012 the IPCC noted that the South Wales Police failed to adequately act on three intelligence logs from six people and eight reports about Watkins.
Jan Williams the IPCC Commissioner for Wales has said, “This investigation raised the most disturbing concerns about the way in which reports of Ian Watkins’ sickening child abuse were handled between 2008 and 2012. Watkins’ arrest for his depraved activities followed only after an arrest for drugs offences, an added cause for serious concern.”
The force failed to examine the mobile phone of Watkins’s ex girlfriend Joanne Mjadzelics in 2009 which contained a message revealing that he wished to have sex with children, which would have provided corroborative evidence to other reports which were being received.
It was Watkins arrest on drugs charges which led to further action by the Police and Watkins’s admission of sex offences for which he was sentenced to 29 years in prison.
South Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said: “Today’s report highlights a number of failings in which information about Watkins was investigated between 2008 and 2012 which the force entirely accepts and regrets. South Wales Police failed to listen and properly investigate information about Watkins’ offending behaviour, for this we are truly sorry.”
Wales’ Children’s Commissioner Sally Holland said: “It is disturbing to think that such a catalogue of basic errors can take place in Wales in the 21st Century, which led to a four-year delay in bringing Watkins to justice. There can be no defence or excuse.”