Ian Watkins: Peaches Geldof apologises for naming women claimed to be involved in abuse

The 24-year-old said she assumed the names had been public knowledge

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Peaches Geldof has apologised for tweeting the identities of the co-defendants in the case of former rock singer and "committed paedophile" Ian Watkins, potentially compromising legal anonymity for his victims.

The 24-year-old said she assumed the names had been public knowledge before she relayed them to her 166,000 followers.

Watkins, former front man of Welsh band Lostprophets, was branded a “determined and committed paedophile” by a judge at Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday. In a dramatic U-turn, he admitted 11 sex offences, including two charges of attempting to rape of a baby.

The 36-year-old, from Pontypridd, south Wales, plotted the abuse with the two female co-defendants, who also pleaded guilty to numerous child sex offences.

They were both mothers of his victims. As such, they can't be named because all victims of sexual offences have automatic lifetime anonymity.

Police have said new leads have emerged in the case, after a flurry of calls triggered by an appeal for unknown victims to come forward.

Ms Geldof, daughter of musician Bob Geldof, deleted the offending tweet and posted on Friday: "Half of twitter had tweeted out the names also aside from my (now deleted) tweet.

"I deleted my tweets however and apologise for any offence caused as at the time of tweeting had only seen everyone tweeting the names at me so had assumed as they were also up on news websites and the crown courts public file that they had been released for public knowledge.

She added that it "makes me sad" that "these women and Watkins will be gettings (sic) three meals a day, a double bed, cable TV etc all funded by the tax payer alongside not being named apparently," before concluding: "Will check my facts before tweeting next time. apologies and lesson learned."

The Attorney General's office reiterated that publishing details that can lead to the identification of sex crime victims is a criminal offence.

A spokeswoman went on to explain that it was aware of the online posting and the fact that it had been deleted.

She said: "Victims of sexual offences have automatic lifetime anonymity and the publication of names or information which can lead to their being identified is a criminal offence. This is a police matter."