Lostprophets singer facing child sex offence charges

Ian Watkins
Ian Watkins have been questioned at Cardiff Bay police station. Photo: Ian West/PA Archive

Ian Watkins, the lead singer of Welsh rock group Lostprophets, has appeared in court today after being charged with sexual offences against children.

The 35-year-old, of Pontypridd, is charged with conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a female under 13. He also faces a charge of possession and or distribution of indecent images of children.

Watkins is one of three who appeared at Cardiff Magistrates' Court today over serious sexual charges, South Wales Police have said. Two women, aged 20 and 24, face similar offences, but cannot be named for legal reasons.

The Lostprophets singer, whose band have sold more than 3.5 million albums worldwide, is alleged to have conspired with another woman to rape a one-year-old girl, Cardiff magistrates heard.

He also stands accused of two incidents of conspiring to engage in sexual touching with two young children; possessing, making and distributing indecent images; and possessing "extreme" animal pornography.

Ian Watkins
Ian Watkins co-founded Lostprophets in 1997 Credit: Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment

All three have been questioned at Cardiff Bay police station.

The conspiracy charges related to a period between May and Monday, while the indecent images related to a period between August 12 and Monday.

He appeared in court wearing a black coat with the collar turned up and a grey hooded sweatshirt. His relatives also attended. Two co-defendents, both women face a further eleven charges between them.

Detective Inspector Peter Doyle, of South Wales Police, has urged "anyone who has any concerns or information which they think may be relevant to contact us."

He added: "Safeguarding children involved in such cases is always a high priority and as such measures have already been taken."

Watkins co-founded Lostprophets in 1997 with the band going on to become mainstays of the British rock scene and beyond, claiming global album sales of more than 3.5 million.

Their third album, 2006's Liberation Transmission, was a UK number one hit.

The band's latest album, Weapons, charted at number nine upon its release in April.

Defending barrister Tom Crowther said his client would be denying alleged sex charges made against him and argued that his celebrity status could help to enforce bail conditions.

He added that Lostphrophets had cancelled a planned tour, Watkins had no previous convictions and his mother, who was sitting in the public gallery, was willing to put forward her house as a surety.

South Wales Police say he has been charged with conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a female under 13 and possession and distribution of indecent images of children. All were remanded in custody until December 31 where they will appear at Cardiff Crown Court.