Trial of Lostprophets' Ian Watkins on charges of raping a baby begins today (November 26)

Former Lostprophets frontman in court in Cardiff over 24 alleged sexual offences

Photo: PA
Ian Watkins, the former frontman of Lostprophets, will appear in court today to face a number of sexual offences, including raping a baby (November 12).

Watkins is to return to court over 24 alleged sexual offences, including two charges of raping a baby today (November 26). A panel of 22 potential jurors for the trial were selected at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday (November 25) where Watkins was present. A court sketch, depicting a greying Watkins, can be seen above.

Two women are also charged with sexual offences against children, which date back to 2007. It has been suggested by the judge that jurors may receive counselling after hearing the evidence.

BBC News reports that Judge Justice Royce warned potential jurors "very graphic material" will be viewed as part of the trial. Watkins faces trial over two separate counts of baby rape as well as conspiracy to rape another child. Additional charges include one count of sexual assault, aiding and abetting sexual assault by penetration and conspiracy to sexually assault a child. Watkins also faces 17 counts of making, taking and possessing indecent images and one of possessing extreme pornographic image involving an animal. Watkins denies all charges.

Watkins' trial is due to conclude by December 20 when court finishes for Christmas. However, should the trial run over it will re-commence on January 6.

Back in August, it was reported that Watkins was on suicide watch ahead of his trial. At the first pre-trial hearing, Watkins' lawyer, Sally O'Neill, told the court that a clinical psychologist had recommended that he be moved from Parc Prison in Bridgend to a psychiatric hospital, and that he should receive anti-psychotic medication.

Earlier this year the remaining members of Lostprophets announced their decision to split. The Welsh band formed in Pontypridd in 1997 and released debut album 'Thefakesoundofprogress' in 2000. The band's fifth album, 'Weapons', was released on April 2, 2012.

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