Lostprophets' Ian Watkins abuse victims urged to come forward
- 27 November 2013
- From the section Wales
The police chief who led the inquiry into Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins's child sex abuse has called for other victims to come forward.
Watkins, 36, of Pontypridd, admitted a series of "depraved" child sex offences including attempted rape of a baby.
He denied the charges but changed his plea at the 11th hour as his trial was due to begin at Cardiff Crown Court alongside two women.
The IPCC is investigating if South Wales Police acted quickly enough.
Earlier this year, former IPCC commissioner for Wales Tom Davies said they had received a referral from South Wales Police on 25 January 2013 relating to Watkins.
He confirmed an independent investigation was being carried out.
"Our investigation will determine whether or not South Wales Police failed to take appropriate and timely action in relation to information they were in receipt of in advance of Mr Watkins subsequent arrest," he said.
"We are aware of four forces having provided South Wales Police with information but, as criminal proceedings are active, it would be inappropriate to publish further information at this time."
Shortly after evidence of Watkins "depraved" behaviour was made public, rumours began circulate on social media websites about the extent of his abuse and possible other victims.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Doyle described it as "the most shocking case I have ever seen".
Speaking on the steps of Cardiff Crown Court to pack of awaiting journalists, he vowed that the search for other victims would continue.
"The outcome does not mark the end of our investigations and we will work tirelessly to identify any other victims or witnesses and seek the justice they deserve," he said.
"Above all, this investigation has been focused on the protection of children and my thoughts are with those victims."
Watkins, who was called a "determined and committed paedophile" in court, admitted attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13 but not guilty to rape - a plea the prosecution accepted.
He also admitted three counts of sexual assault involving children and six involving taking, making or possessing indecent images of children and one of possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal.
He will be sentenced on 18 December.
One of the two women charged alongside Watkins, Woman A, admitted the attempted rape of a baby after denying rape and two charges of sexual assault, as well as taking and distributing an indecent photograph of a child.
Woman B pleaded guilty to conspiring to rape a child, three sexual assault charges and four charges of taking, possessing or distributing indecent images.
The evidence against Watkins came from computers, laptops and mobile phones with some recovered from "cloud" storage.
The court heard that he had filmed and kept the episodes of abuse which took place in various hotels in London and south Wales.
Some of the evidence was too extreme and distressing to report.
'Brought to justice'
The court was told the two women who stood alongside Watkins in the dock sexually abused their own children and made them available to Watkins for him to abuse.
The court was told how the abuse of the children by all parties was also evident in text messages.
Watkins sent a text to one of the women saying: "If you belong to me, so does your baby."
One of the women, in an exchange involving the other, sent Watkins a message along with an image of her child to the effect that her child needed to know she was not loved.
Watkins also planned to "teach" the babies how to take drugs, the hearing was told.
Mr Doyle said: "This investigation has uncovered the most shocking and harrowing child abuse evidence I have ever seen.
"The outcome ensures that the three people responsible have been brought to justice.
"The safeguarding of children has been the primary objective for the investigation team and the outcome of this investigation has been achieved through a multi-agency approach at an international level."
He added: "Two very young children have been removed from this abuse and given a future that would otherwise have been denied them."
He said the investigation had been "extremely complex and challenging" with key information and evidence being identified from witnesses worldwide.
South Wales Police worked with other forces, Interpol, National Crime Agency's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre command, local authorities in England and Wales, the Department of Homeland Security in the USA, and the NSPCC.
Des Mannion, NSPCC Wales national head of service, said: "The desire to sexually abuse small babies is something most of us find too horrific to comprehend.
"Ian Watkins clearly had a dangerous obsession with the most severe and extreme forms of child sex abuse.
"It's a huge relief in this instance that the children involved were able to be identified and finally made safe but tragically this isn't always the case.
"This is a global problem and in order to reach those who are still suffering, governments and law enforcement agencies need to work together to tackle this very complex issue."
In October, the other five members of Lostprophets issued a statement saying the band was splitting up after 15 years in the light of the case against Watkins.
Anyone who has been affected by this case or other cases of child abuse can contact South Wales Police on 029 20634184 or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.