Lostprophets have issued a statement in response to yesterday’s news that their singer has appeared before a court facing charges relating to child sex offences.
A statement on the Welsh band’s official website reads:
Following charges made today against Ian Watkins, we find ourselves in a state of shock. We are learning about the details of the investigation along with you. It is a difficult time for us and our families, and we want to thank our fans for their support as we seek answers. Jamie, Lee, Luke, Mike and Stu
Yesterday, the BBC reported that Watkins had 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 denying 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 December 31. Watkins’ mother, who was sitting in the public gallery, reportedly offered to put forward her house as a surety.
Police have urged anyone with concerns or information relating to the investigation to get in touch. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.