Face of the day

The rock singer Ian Watkins has received a 35-year sentence after admitting a string of sex offences involving children including the attempted rape of a baby.

Two women, known only as Woman A and Woman B – who are the mothers of children he abused – were sentenced to 14 and 17 years respectively.

Watkins was jailed by Mr Justice Royce for 29 years. He will serve at least two thirds of that before the parole board can decide if he should be released. If he is released early, he will serve the rest of the jail term on licence. But the judge stipulated he will serve an extra six years on licence on top of that, bringing the total sentence to 35 years.

Royce told Watkins: “Those who have appeared in these courts over many years see a large number of horrific cases. This case, however, breaks new ground.

“You, Watkins, achieved fame and success as the lead singer of Lostprophets. You had many fawning fans. That gave you power. You knew you could use that power to induce young female fans to help satisfy your insatiable lust and take part in the sexual abuse of their own children.

“Away from the highlights of your public performances lay a dark and sinister side.”

Watkins looked blank as he was led from the dock. The sentence was greeted by shouts of “yes” from the public gallery.

During his sentencing hearing it emerged that the day after the former Lostprophets lead singer admitted his offences he told a female fan from prison that he was going to issue a statement saying it had been “mega lolz”. He also told her he did not know “what everybody is getting so freaked out about”.

Watkins, who has been on suicide watch in prison, told the woman, only identified as Samantha, that he had thought about telling the court: “Come on, it was not that bad; nobody got hurt.” He said another tactic could be to “win them over with my charm” and claim: “I was off my head and do not remember anything.” – The Guardian


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