South Wales Police criticised over handling of evidence against former Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins

The singer was convicted in 2013

South Wales Police have been criticised over their handling of the case against convicted paedophile and former Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins, the BBC reports.

According to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), between 2008 and 2012, South Wales Police were presented with eight reports and three intelligence logs by six people who raised concerns over Watkins’ intentions. However, the force failed to adequately respond to the accusations.

In 2013, Watkins was convicted of 13 child sex offences and sentenced to 35-years in prison. These offences only came to light following a drugs investigation.

Particular attention has been given to South Wales Police’s treatment of evidence presented by Watkins’ former partner Joanne Mjadzelics. Mjadzelics showed South Wales Police a text message from Watkins in 2009 where the musician expressed an interest in having sex with children, but was not considered a credible witness.

In a statement, IPCC Commissioner for Wales Jan Williams 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.”

South Wales Police accepted the findings and said in a statement that they were “truly sorry” for not properly investigating the accusations sooner.

Watkins’ celebrity is not thought to have contributed to the delay in investigations.