Ian Watkins: Lostprophets singer to contest prison term

Jul 23, 2014

Watkins was handed a 35-year sentence for child sex offences, including attempted rape of a baby

Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Ian Watkins will find out today if he can appeal against the length of his sentence for child sex offences, including the attempted rape of a baby.

The 36-year-old Lostprophets singer, from Pontypridd, was jailed last December for 29 years, plus another six years on licence. His application will be heard by three appeal court judges sitting in Cardiff.

The singer is not challenging his 13 sex offence convictions but claims the sentencing judge treated him too harshly.

Watkins admitted the attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13 but pleaded not guilty to rape. He also admitted conspiring to rape a child, three counts of sexual assault involving children, and others involving taking, making or possessing indecent images of children and possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal.

Among the offences was the attempted rape of an 11-month-old child and encouraging a fan to abuse her baby via webcam.

Detectives found a huge number of photos and footage of child abuse on his computers and online, almost five times the storage size of the South Wales Police force's entire computer database, says the BBC. Some of the videos he had made himself. While awaiting sentencing, Watkins was recorded by prison officials telling a friend that the whole thing was "mega lolz".

Two women, jailed alongside Watkins for allowing him to abuse their own children, are also hoping to appeal their sentences of 14 and 17 years. They both admitted child abuse charges.

Sentencing Watkins and the two women at Cardiff Crown Court in December, Mr Justice Royce said the case broke "new ground" and "plunged into new depths of depravity".

If his plans to appeal fail, Watkins looks set to leave prison at the age of 65 and then spend six years on licence, meaning he must regularly report to a probation officer and adhere to the conditions of his licence, such as a curfew or restraining order, or return to prison.

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