Lostprophets' Ian Watkins remanded in custody over alleged child sex offences

Charges include conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with female under 13 and possession of indecent images

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Ian Watkins, singer of Welsh rock band Lostprophets, has appeared before Cardiff magistrates facing a total of six charges relating to sexual offences against two young children, reports BBC News.

The 35 year-old is accused of conspiracy to rape a female under 13 – now confirmed to be a one year-old girl. He has been charged with two incidents of conspiring to engage in sexual touching with two young children and four offences relating to making, possessing and distributing indecent images of children. The court heard that 40 images of children and child abuse were being investigated by police.

The Mirror reports that Watkins also stands accused of possessing "extreme" pornography involving animals.

The conspiracy offences were alleged to have taken place between May 1 and December 17, 2012, when Watkins was arrested. The pornography charges relate to a period between August 12 and December 17.

Watkins appeared in Cardiff magistrates court wearing a black hoody, looking "visibly tired" during the 90-minute hearing, according to eyewitnesses. Defending barrister Tom Crowther said his client would be deny charges, but a plea is not required at this stage of proceedings.

Two women aged 20 and 24 from Doncaster and Bedford also appeared in court. The 24-year-old woman is alleged to have conspired with Watkins to rape the one year-old and has been charged with the same offences. The 20 year-old woman is charged with five of the same offences but not conspiracy to rape. Neither woman can be identified due to legal reasons.

Bail applications by all three were refused and they have been remanded in custody until their appearance at Cardiff Crown Court on 31 December. Watkins' mother, who was sitting in the public gallery, reportedly offered to put forward her house as a surety.

Earlier today, a police spokesperson said: "A Pontypridd man has been charged with sexual offences against children and is due to appear at Cardiff magistrates court today… In order to assist their investigation, South Wales police has named the man as Ian Watkins, a member of the rock group Lostprophets."

Police have urged anyone with concerns or information relating to the investigation to get in touch. "Specially-trained staff are available to speak to anyone with concerns or information regarding this investigation and a dedicated telephone number has been set up," said senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Peter Doyle. "I want to encourage anyone who has any concerns or information which they think may be relevant to contact us. Safeguarding children involved in such cases is always a high priority and as such measures have already been taken."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Operation Globe incident room on 0800 056 0154; or NSPCC on 0800 389 5347 or email operationglobe@south-wales.pnn.police.uk. Overseas callers are asked to phone 00 44 207 158 0011.

Lostprophets formed in Pontypridd in 1997 and released debut album 'Thefakesoundofprogress' in 2000. The band's fifth album, 'Weapons', was released on April 2, 2012. The BBC reports that future Lostprophets live dates have been immediately cancelled.

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