35 years for 'depraved' Watkins

Former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins has been handed a 35-year sentence for a string of child sex offences which "plumbed new depths of depravity".

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The disgraced rock star even spoke with a female fan from prison the day after admitting two counts of attempted baby rape and said he was going to issue a statement saying it had all been "mega lolz".

Watkins, who had lost his initial cockiness and was shaking visibly in the dock at Cardiff Crown Court, was told he would serve 29 years in jail with the final six on licence.

He confessed to 13 offences and was described as a committed and determined paedophile.

His two accomplices, Woman A and Woman B, were jailed for 14 years and 16 years respectively.

After sexually touching a groupie's 11-month-old baby, Watkins then tried to have penetrative sex with the child. He also encouraged a second fan to abuse her child during a webcam chat and secretly stashed child porn videos, some of which he had made himself.

And it is feared the incidents could be just the tip of the iceberg. Police are investigating whether Watkins, 36, committed further abuse in the US and Germany.

Trial judge Mr Justice Royce told Watkins: "Those who have appeared in these courts over many years see a large number of horrific cases. This case, however, breaks new ground.

"You, Watkins, achieved fame and success as the lead singer of Lostprophets.

"You had many fawning fans. That gave you power. You knew you could use that power to induce young female fans to help satisfy your insatiable lust and take part in the sexual abuse of their own children.

"Away from the highlights of your public performances lay a dark and sinister side."

The judge added: "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 need protection from you."

Watkins looked blank as he was led from the dock.

The sentence was greeted by shouts of "Yes" from the public gallery.

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