Ian Watkins given court date as he appeals against baby rape sentence

The Lostprophets singer will appear before a panel of judges next week

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The Independent Online

Ian Watkins will stand in front of a court next week as he launches an appeal against his sentence for the attempted rape of a baby.

He first lodged the appeal in January in a bid to shorten his 35-year prison sentence, but has now been given a date for his appearance at Cardiff Crown Court – Wednesday 23 July.

The former Lostprophets frontman was sentenced to a custodial term of 29 years and a further six years on licence, in December 2013.

The 36-year-old admitted to the attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13, but pleaded not guilty to rape.

He also confessed to conspiring to rape a child, three counts of sexual assault involving children, seven involving taking, making or possessing indecent images of children and one of possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal.

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

The singer sexually touched a groupie's 11-month-old baby, before attempting 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 abuse videos, some of which he had created himself.

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

"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."