Ian Watkins child abuse: is 35 years enough for 'evil' singer?

Lostprophets singer 'lacking the tiniest grain of humanity' with no remorse for his young victims

LAST UPDATED AT 11:30 ON Thu 19 Dec 2013

THE inability of British courts to lock up paedophile Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins for the rest of his life has been slammed as a "major shortcoming". 

Watkins was yesterday handed a 35-year jail sentence for a string of child sex offences, including the attempted rape of a baby. Two unnamed women were also jailed for 14 years and 17 years for offering up their own children to be abused by the rock star.

The judge, Mr Justice Royce, said the actions of the three defendants "plumbs new depths of depravity" and that it was "difficult to imagine anything much worse". Nevertheless, he ruled that six years of Watkins' 35-year sentence will be spent on licence and he will be eligible for parole two thirds of the way into his jail term.

The Daily Express says the inability of British courts "simply to lock up people as evil as Watkins for good is a major shortcoming". The newspaper says that "with the death penalty not available to our courts the appropriate sentence would obviously be a full life term" but complains that even these have been declared an infringement of human rights. "No good can come from him ever being allowed to see the light of day again," it says.

John Davies, Watkins' stepfather – a Baptist minister – last night said he could "cheerfully spend an hour knocking him around a cell". Davies described the offences as "horrific" and "heinous" but said he hoped his step-son can be rehabilitated in time.

The Sun says the "wicked crimes" are "fully deserving" of the 35-year sentence. "Watkins' trial revealed a character of pure evil," it says. "A man who showed no remorse for the suffering inflicted on his young victims. A man lacking the tiniest grain of humanity."

The newspaper applauds the judge for not being taken in by Watkins' attempt to blame his behaviour on drugs, but says it is "utterly incomprehensible" that three police forces seemingly failed to heed warnings about the rock star. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating South Wales Police, South Yorkshire Police and Bedfordshire Police over claims they failed to act quickly enough after receiving the abuse allegations.

Joanna Majic, one of Watkins's ex-girlfriends who repeatedly warned police he was a paedophile, tells the Daily Mirror that the sentence was too little, too late.

"Why was I doing the police's work for them for so many years?" she said yesterday. "If they had just taken me seriously in the first place and not sided with a celebrity maybe no child would ever have been abused in the first place?"

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail's front page focuses on the two women who were sentenced, asking in its headline: "How could any mother be so evil?"

The newspaper highlights the words of the judge, who told one of the women yesterday:  "A mother naturally loves, protects, shields, nurtures and cherishes. Your infant would have trusted you implicitly. You totally betrayed that trust. Could there be a greater betrayal?" · 

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