Ian Watkins, Lostprophets singer, pleads guilty to child sex offences

ian_watkins

Introduction

On 26th November 2013 Ian Watkins, the (former) lead singer of Lostprophets (a popular music group as a court reporter should call it) was due at Cardiff Crown Court to stand his trial on 24 charges of child sex offences.

He changed his pleas on some counts to guilty. These were attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13 (but not guilty to rape) and he “also admitted three counts of sexual assault involving children and six involving taking, making or possessing indecent images of children and one of possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal“.

Mr Watkins was charged along with two women (known as A and B) : “

Woman A, admitted the attempted rape of a baby after denying rape and two charges of sexual assault as well as taking and distributing an indecent photograph of a child.

Woman B pleaded guilty to conspiring to rape a child, three sexual assault charges and four charges of taking, possessing or distributing indecent images.

The sentencing hearing will be on 18th December.

Facts

These have been reported (with some details missing) in a fair amount of detail. We won’t recite them all here, but they were mostly acts of great depravity that involved very young children.

The very best that Mr Watkins can hope for is a lengthy (20-25 years) determinate sentence. The starting point is the Sexual Offences Sentencing Guidelines (p25). It would seem to be in the highest category (so a starting point of 15 years with a range of 13-19 years after a trial). The young age of the victims and the exploitation involved, when coupled with the other offences to which Mr Watkins pleaded guilty, take us above that.

There will have to be some ‘credit’ for the plea of guilty, although that will probably be small, about 10%. For that reason we would suggest the bracket of 20-25 years, probably towards the bottom end of that when the guilty plea is taken into account.

It may well be that he receives a life sentence (on the facts in the news so far, I would not be surprised). as for the two women, the press reports have been focussing on Mr Watkins and so there is a lot less detail, so it is not possible to comment on this stage.

It seems that the two women, possibly a the instigation of Mr Watkins, abused their own children and filmed it for the benefit of him (as well as making their children available for him to abuse).

Sentencing

Sentencing was adjourned, presumably for full reports to assess whether a life sentence should be imposed.

We will return to this, but until then, here is some further reading:

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About Dan Bunting

I'm a lawyer who works for myself. Legal geek, maths freak, general dullard and jack of all trades. Here’s a few views on law and occasional musings on life. Usual caveats about not relying on anything I say etc applies.

18 thoughts on “Ian Watkins, Lostprophets singer, pleads guilty to child sex offences

  1. duncanheenan

    The women deserve at least as much as him as willing accessories. Even worse, they betrayed their position of care and trust. I doubt if they will though, as women generally are treated with inexplicable leniency by the courts.

    Reply
  2. sisterhooduk

    Women are not treated with leniency by the courts they are dealt with more harshly than men committing similar crimes. However, I do agree that in this case, based on what I’ve read above, there is no reason why these “mothers” who apparently abused their own children for the gratification of another should not face the same if not a harsher sentence. Parents, and mothers in particular, are supposed to protect their young. It’s actually the law of the jungle or laws of nature both apply.

    Reply
  3. Alison Jones

    Yet another heinous case of child abuse, this one in the very extreme. Lock them all up for life. Mitigating circumstances like pleading guilty should not be allowed to be taken in consideration because it’s children involved. Although I’d like to see the mothers that are responsible, never released from prison as they should protect their children from such predators , I also see Watkins equally responsible. Pity we got rid of hanging.

    Reply
  4. Andrew

    Apart from hanging, no thanks to that, not even for murder – agree with all. Human filth, male or female.

    Reply
  5. Andrew

    I notice that the police officer in this case has “urged other victims to come forward”.

    Why?

    He is going to get a big sentence – and rightly – but given totality he won’t get more if there are further trials. So what is the point of further victims putting themselves through it? I respect and admire those victims of crimes like this who com forward and help get those concerned banged up – but I see no point in going further with this one.

    Unless of course other victims can finger other collaborators of either gender . . .

    Incidentally, this man was one of a group. I don’t pretend to know anything about them: all male or mixed, does anybody know? Either way, imagine how horrible it must be to be a member of that group (and not a child-molester) or their manager or other close associate, and to ahve worked with him and been on friendly terms with him. Like being a German a few decades ago and finding that your colleague had been arrested for having been a guard at Auschwitz. You can’t dislike somebody retrospectively, can you?

    Reply
    1. Bernard Marx

      And how likely is it that other victims will come forward? It appears that Watkin’s MO is the targeting of very young children, unlikely to remember the offences and certainly unable to seek help themselves. This being the case, the police are relying on information provided by caregivers. How likely is it that a caregiver, potentially complicit in the abuse of their child, will come forward? Especially when the two mothers in this case have been handed lengthy sentences.

      Reply
  6. Pingback: Ian Watkins case – more Contempt proceedings? | UK Criminal Law Blog

  7. Pingback: Paedophilia: A Fatal Obsession – Bernard's Law

  8. Andrew

    Commet from the CPS:

    “The length of his sentence should reflect this terrible abuse of power”

    Yes it should: but it’s not for the CPS to say that. Sentencing is for the court. The CPS should stay out of it unless the question arises of an AG’s reference, which it cannot before sentence.

    Reply
  9. Pingback: What happens to Ian Watkins royalties now? | UK Criminal Law Blog

  10. Pingback: Ian Watkins sentenced – | UK Criminal Law Blog

  11. David Jordan

    I took a look at that sentencing manual briefly and noticed there was a crime of “Causing or inciting another person to watch a sexual act” which can include photos of non-penetrative sexual activity!

    Does this mean that if I show my kids Emmerdale and two character kiss I am now a sex offender? Or, perhaps more plausibly (I would NEVER subject anyone I loved to Emmerdale) if I email an adult, who didn’t ask for it but I know to be someone who would not take offence, a link to a porn site? Please tell me I have misunderstood.

    Reply
    1. Lyndon Harris

      The offence I think you are referring to is causing a child to watch a sexual act (s12 Sexual Offences Act 2003). This is an offence where a person aged 18+ (A) causes another person (B) to watch a third person engage in sexual activity for the purposes of A’s sexual gratification. B must be under 13, or under 16 and A did not reasonably believe that B was aged 16+.

      There is another offence of engaging in a sexual act in the presence of a child (s11 Sexual Offences Act 2003) which is a similar offence to s12, but without the requirement of the third person.

      I hope that answers your question.

      Reply
  12. Andrew

    Subjecting children to soap operas is abusive behaviour in itself. The only channel they should be allowed is Channel 99.That’s the one where the screen is off, so is the sound, and the radio is on Classic FM.

    Reply
  13. Pingback: Ian Watkins back in Court on 23rd July for appeal against sentence | UK Criminal Law Blog

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