November 26, 2013 14:41
Lostprophets' Ian Watkins pleads guilty to child sex offences, including attempted rape of a baby
The band's former frontman admits to being a paedophile in court today (November 26)
Appearing at Cardiff Crown Court today, the singer changed his plea from not guilty to guilty, and admitted that he is a paedophile. His two female co-defendants, who cannot be named, also admitted numerous sex abuse charges against children, Wales Online reports.
Watkins' lawyer Sally O'Neill QC said that the musician claimed he "cannot remember" the attempted rapes, which were captured on video just hours after he had appeared on a BBC Radio 1 show and took place in a hotel room in London's Shepherds Bush in April 2012. The footage was found in cloud storage belonging to Watkins. Government security service GCHQ cracked the password to allow access to Watkins' files.
As the charges were put to him, Watkins reportedly repeatedly looked to his lawyers as he replied.
He admitted two counts of attempting to rape an 11-month-old baby, but denied two counts of raping the child.
The singer rocked back and forth as he also admitted sexually assaulting a child aged under 13 and aiding and abetting a female co-defendant to sexually assault a child under 13.
He then looked at his feet as he admitted conspiracy to rape a child aged under 13 and a charge of conspiring to sexually assault a child under 13.
He also pleaded guilty to several charges related to possessing indecent photographs of children between August and December last year, and two counts of taking indecent photographs of children dating back to 2007 and 2008.
Watkins also admitted possessing extreme pornography depicting a person engaged in a sex act with an animal.
The 36-year-old musician, from Pontypridd, will be sentenced on December 18. Telling the jury that there would be no trial, Judge Justice Royce said: "You have been saved from having to watch extremely graphic and distressing material."
The court heard how Watkins sent messages to to one of his co-defendants talking of how he wanted "to cross the line". When she responded with "A summer of incest and child porn" he replied: "Hell yes baby." He then told her: "The sooner we start training her the better."
There was also a conversation about "whoring out" the child as well as giving it crack cocaine.
Watkins' two co-defendants also admitted to several charges against their own children. A 21-year-old woman admitted aiding and abetting an attempted rape, aiding and abetting rape, two counts of sexually assaulting a child aged under 13 years, taking indecent photographs of children and distributing indecent photographs of children.
A 24-year-old woman pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a child aged under 13 by penetration. She also admitted charges of sexually assaulting a child under 13 by touching, conspiracy to rape a child under 13, conspiracy to sexually assault a girl under 13, two counts of indecent photographs of a child and distributing indecent photographs of children.
In prosecution lawyer Christopher Clee's opening remarks about Ian Watkins, he said: "Ian Watkins was the lead singer of a successful band, the Lostprophets. He also, by virtue of his plea, accepts he is a determined and committed paedophile."
He added: "He has engaged in serious sexual offences against two babies belonging to the female defendants in this case. Not only has he done so but he recorded and kept episodes of this abuse which were recovered by the police."
The police chief in the trial described the case as among the most "shocking and harrowing child abuse" as he appealed for more potential victims and witnesses to come forward.
Children's charity NSPCC, who worked with the police on the investigation also put out a statement. Des Mannion, the national head of service for NSPCC Wales, said: "Ian Watkins clearly had a dangerous obsession with the most severe and extreme forms of child sex abuse."
He added: "His global public profile provided him with access to impressionable young women who he was able to manipulate to feed his horrific desires. The length of his sentence should reflect this terrible abuse of power."
A statement from Catrin Evans, Head of Complex Casework Unit for the Crown Prosecution Service, Wales, said the case demonstrated "sexual exploitation at its worst."
We want to hear from former Lostprophets fans about how today's news has made you feel. Email: News@nme.com
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