Growing up we all had our idols. Whether it be singers, writers or characters from the silver screen, (I myself loved Mortitia Addams, and still do!) it’s a perfectly normal and expected part of life and can often bring comfort and joy following our favourite people and learning all about them. Their faces adorn our walls, we buy their merchandise and follow them on social media. We build them up in our minds and view them as untouchable and perfect, never even contemplating that despite their fame and appeal they may harbour dark and depraved characteristics. Sometimes however, the mask can slip and in some cases, the shocking truth behind the facade is revealed…..
Lostprophets were a rock/emo band that first formed in 1997. Hailing from Wales, they were fronted by the charismatic and alternative Ian Watkins. The band shot to fame with singles such as “Last Train Home” and “"Rooftops” and enjoyed global success with fans of all ages, all over the world.
Watkins was seen as somewhat of a heartthrob within the alternative community, and was never short of attention. His posters adorned many a wall in his bands heyday and tours, merchandise and records never had trouble flying off the shelves. He also had several high profile relationships including one with TV and radio presenter Fearne Cotton. It appeared that he had it all, a successful career, adoring fans and a long line of beautiful women falling for his charm. He enjoyed worldwide tours with his band mates and between them they released 5 successful albums and also enjoyed appearing at various festivals during the summer.
To those on the outside, Ian Watkins was simply a young guy from the Welsh Valleys enjoying an extremely successful career doing something he enjoyed. However, behind closed doors this man was harbouring some of the most depraved interests imaginable and was enjoying using his status to take full advantage of what he wanted……
Ian Watkins was well used to being in the headlines. Being a member of a famous and widely admired band and having a string of famous girlfriends he was no stranger to appearing in the media regularly.
However, the headlines that hit front pages everywhere in December of 2012 were set to rock his reputation and send sickening shock waves through not only his fans but through the community as a whole.
The rock star front man had been arrested and had appeared in court accused with the unfathomable crimes of child abuse. Claims were made that Watkins had been grooming young fans who were also mothers to infant children. It was said that Watkins was in regular contact with two “super fans” in particular, both were mothers to babies who were under the age of two years old. It was alleged that videos of Watkins abusing the young babies had emerged and that he was also being accused of attempting to rape a baby, under the age of 18 months. Sources claimed that Watkins had been in touch with the two women over a number of months and that between them, they had willingly been involved in the abuse of the children by making and distributing indecent videos and images of the events to Watkins, as well as committing acts of abuse during video chats and phone calls. In total, Watkins was facing 24 charges of abuse including that of the attempted rape of a baby. The two women, who were also alleged “super fans” of the band were also charged with aiding and abetting the abuse, including the attempted rape as well as making and distributing indecent images of children. These women have not been formally named in order to protect the identity of their children. All three suspects denied the charges put to them, with Watkins being remanded in custody awaiting trial.
When this abhorrent news hit the headlines, it was quite obviously met with complete shock and dismay. Fans all over the world were now seeing their idol in a completely new and sickening light. The band was swiftly boycotted by the fans as they awaited further updates on the case from the media. It was during this time that police failings concerning the investigation of Watkins were first bought to light. According to a previous ex girlfriend of Ian’s, he had been displaying worrying behaviour where young children were concerned for many years. The woman claimed that on several occasions Ian had made comments regarding children and had openly admitted to being a paedophile. She also claimed that there would undoubtedly be “hundreds” more victims but that due to the manipulation by Watkins on the mothers, they’d never come to light. Despite going to the police on many occasions with her concerns, she claims that she was dismissed and was eventually forced by Watkins to sign an agreement stating that she would make no further claims towards the star, however a number of months after this, she made further reports against him after the pair met up at a hotel and Ian made comments regarding child abuse and possessing indecent images. The police however failed to follow up on the accusations.
A number of other fans also came forward claiming that they’d had inappropriate interactions with Watkins during meet ups or online video calls. Several of these fans also claimed they’d been under the age of 16 at the time of the events. It was also claimed that Ian had become a heavy drink and drug user and would also use drugs to manipulate his besotted fans into carrying out his twisted fantasies.
In a swift turn of events and with only days before his trial was due to begin, and with advice from his legal team, Ian Watkins pleaded guilty to 11 of the 24 charges against him, claiming that in several of the videos that were being used as evidence against him were in fact real but that due to his hard drug use at the time he had no memory of the events. The public, Watkins fans in particular, were now waiting with baited breath to hear what sentence would be handed down to the deprived and inhumane singer and songwriter.
On the 18th of December 2013, Mr Justice Royce addressed Ian Watkins in the packed courtroom. He informed him that he would be sentenced to 29 years, plus 6 years on license telling him;
"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 and children, need protection from you."
The sentencing was met with an abundance of cheers from the public gallery.
Along with Watkins, the two female accomplices that aided and abetted in the abuse of their own children were also given lengthy prison sentences of 14 and 17 years.
Despite the convictions, investigations into Watkins’ crimes are still ongoing, with reports of alleged abuse stretching as far as the United States. There are further claims from those who knew Ian in his formative years that he had dark desires and fantasies that grew stronger during the years he was using drugs, however, they’d never contemplate the lengths of depravity he would finally find himself.
Since his imprisonment, its been claimed that Ian Watkins has show little remorse for his actions, stating to a friend on the phone that;
"I'm going to put out a statement on the 18th now just to say it was mega lolz, I don't know what everyone is getting so freaked out about."
He is currently serving his sentence in a high security prison, where he has apparently had several “relationships” with remaining fans, who still support him despite his vile crimes.
It is yet to be seen if Ian Watkins will ever show any remorse or regret for what he has done. He will have to serve at least two thirds of his sentence before being considered for parole. I think I can speak for the majority in saying that I sincerely hope that this man never sees freedom again.