Former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins has been handed a 35-year sentence for a string of child sex offences which “plumbed new depths of depravity”.
The disgraced rock star even spoke with a female fan from prison the day after admitting two counts of attempted baby rape and said he was going to issue a statement saying it had all been “mega lolz”.
Watkins, who had lost his initial cockiness and was shaking visibly in the dock at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday, was told he would serve 29 years in jail with the final six on licence.
He confessed to 13 offences and was described as a committed and determined paedophile.
His two accomplices, Woman A and Woman B, were jailed for 14 years and 16 years respectively.
After sexually touching a groupie’s 11-month-old baby, Watkins tried to have sex with the child. He also encouraged a second fan to abuse her child during a webcam chat and secretly stashed child porn videos, some of which he had made himself.
It is feared the incidents could be just the tip of the iceberg.
Police are investigating whether Watkins, 36, committed further abuse in the United States and Germany.
Trial judge Mr Justice Royce told Watkins: “Those who have appeared in these courts over many years see a large number of horrific cases. This case, however, breaks new ground.
“You, Watkins, achieved fame and success as the lead singer of Lostprophets.
“You had many fawning fans. That gave you power. You knew you could use that power to induce young female fans to help satisfy your insatiable lust and take part in the sexual abuse of their own children.
“Away from the highlights of your public performances lay a dark and sinister side.”
The judge added: “I am satisfied that you are a deeply corrupting influence, you are highly manipulative, you are a sexual predator, you are dangerous.
“The public and, in particular, young females need protection from you.”
Watkins looked blank as he was led from the dock.
The sentence was greeted by shouts of “Yes” from the public gallery.
The judge spoke in court about an interview that Watkins had with the probation service, since the admissions he made last month, for a report.
“You spoke to the author of your desire to shock and your craving to push the sexual boundaries,” the judge said.
“This craving was fuelled by your use of cocaine and methamphetamine, which increased your sexual aggression.
“You spoke of not knowing to what extremes you would have gone but for your arrest. It is difficult to imagine anything much worse.”
The judge said the author of the report concluded: “Mr Watkins presents a high risk of causing serious sexual, physical, emotional and psychological harm to children, both male and female, and to women, specifically his female sexual partners.”
Sentencing Watkins, he told him that he was being given an extended sentence. That means he will serve two-thirds of the term behind bars before being released. Before a change in the law in December 2012, he would have served half the sentence.
On his release in around 20 years, he would normally have been on licence for the remainder of the 29-year term. The judge, however, added an additional six years on licence and told him: “Your total sentence, therefore, is one of 35 years.”
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Doyle, the man responsible for putting together the case against Watkins and his co-defendants, warned that the hunt continues for those who helped Watkins carry out suspected abuse of other child victims.
“The investigation uncovered the most disturbing child abuse evidence I have seen in my 28 years as a police officer,” he said.
“The guilty pleas have ensured that the jury were spared from viewing evidence that would have been extremely traumatic.
“Today’s sentence does not mark the end of our investigations and we will work tirelessly to identify any other victims or witnesses and seek the justice they deserve.
“In the last few weeks we have received further information that will now be looked at by the investigation team.”
Mothers who plotted abuse
The 21-year-old woman who allowed Ian Watkins to abuse her baby committed the greatest betrayal a mother could do, a judge has said.
She and Watkins began a sexual relationship and the rocker filmed their sex sessions when she was 16.
Between March and April last year, the pair plotted how they planned to abuse her baby.
And what Watkins tried to dismiss as just “fantasy” became reality when he and the woman sexually abused the child when it was just 11 months old.
The 25-year-old woman who obeyed Ian Watkins’ sick instructions to abuse her own child did so in an attempt to secure the singer’s affection, the judge added.
Woman B, who like her female co-defendant cannot be named for legal reasons, and Watkins talked about plying children with drugs to make them subservient.