Lostprophets' Ian Watkins refused permission to reduce 35-year sentence for string of child sex crimes

The Lostprophets singer’s application for a reduction in his sentence was heard by an appeal court judge in Cardiff Crown Court

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The Independent Online

Ian Watkins’ appeal against the lengthy 35-year jail sentence he was handed after he pleaded guilty to a string of child sex offences, which included the attempted rape of a baby, has been refused by three judges today.

The Lostprophets singer’s application for a reduction in his sentence was heard by an appeal court judge in Cardiff Crown Court, alongside further applications from a woman he was jailed alongside.

Watkins, 37, initially denied all charges against him after he was arrested in December 2012, but confessed to his crimes when the case came to court 12 months later.

Sally O'Neill QC, who represented Watkins, argued that sentence is "too high in the circumstances", given his guilty plea.

She argued that the starting point for sentencing was too high and claimed that the “totality” of the sentence was not appropriate.


"I am in no way trying to minimise the gravity of these offences," she told the court. "I simply maintain that a sense of proportion needs to be maintained."

She said that while her submission was probably an "unwelcome" one, she believes it to be "valid".

Woman B’s legal representative Simon Smith QC also argued the case for her appeal against her 17-year sentence.

"One can see that she was a lady who was prone to living a life through fantasy," Smith told the court, adding that as she was 24 at the time the offence was committed, her immaturity should have been taken into account.

"His fame was something that was used to gain her attention and had the effect of obtaining compliance from her," he said.

Smith said that she had a "a greater than normal need for acceptance".

However, judges rejected both appeals.

"These are two applications for leave to appeal against sentence," they said in summary.

"We refuse both applications. We shall give our detailed reasons in a judgement that will be handed down within the next week."

The Court of Appeal judges - Lord Justice Pitchford, Mr Justice Griffith Williams and Mrs Justice Simler - added that the crimes were "of such shocking depravity that a very lengthy prison sentence was demanded".

Watkins was not in court for the hearing.

He was handed a minimum 29 year jail term as well as an additional six years on licence.

Among the offences he pleaded guilty to was the attempted rape of an 11-month old child as well as encouraging a fan to abuse her baby via webcam.

Ian-Watkins-stage-pa.jpg Police also found a stash of child porn videos - some of which he had made himself.

Originally, Watkins had pleaded his innocence to a string of offences - despite damning video evidence. However, he changed his plea at the last minute - averting a trial - but then complained he had not realised that his guilty plea had made him “look guilty”.

While awaiting sentencing, he was recorded by prison officials saying the whole thing was “megalolz” during a telephone call to a friend.

Mr Justice Royce described Watkins a dangerous sexual predator.

As he sentenced the singer last December, the judge told a now grey haired Watkins: "The public and, in particular, young females need protection from you."

Watkins' two accomplices, Woman A and Woman B, were jailed for 14 years and 17 years respectively.

Additional reporting by PA