Ian Watkins child abuse: Paving slabs with Lostprophets lyrics to go
- 10 December 2013
- From the section Wales
Paving slabs bearing the lyrics of paedophile rock star Ian Watkins in his home town are to be pulled up after a children's charity called them "tainted".
The Lostprophets singer, 36, from Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT), admitted sex offences last month, including the attempted rape of a baby.
Ten slabs with lyrics were laid in Taff Street in a regeneration project.
A representative for the band said it was "understandable, but devastating".
RCT said the paving would be removed "as soon as possible".
Pontypridd AM Mick Antoniw had said RCT council should discreetly remove them.
The lyrics from Streets Of Nowhere had been used in the feature when the stones were laid last autumn.
Watkins's lyrics - "Every time I walk these streets I know they're mine" - appeared as part of a council-run project to highlight the area's history and culture.
Others on display include one from Sir Tom Jones's worldwide 1966 hit Green Green Grass of Home.
The slabs were put down last year but in December 2012 it emerged Watkins had been arrested following a drugs raid on his terrace house in Pontypridd.
Police found child sex abuse images and videos on his computer hard drive.
In December last year he was charged with sex offences including possession/distribution of indecent images of children - charges which he "furiously" denied.
Last month he admitted all the charges against him at Cardiff Crown Court.
Sentencing will take place on 18 December.
Watkins's former band mates have already turned their back on him, saying they are "heartbroken, angry, and disgusted" at his sex crimes and have urged more of his victims to contact police.
Now Pontypridd's AM is urging Watkins's home town to rid itself of his contribution in the regeneration project.
Mr Antoniw said: "My personal view is that it's probably not a good idea to keep something in a public place that now has this connotation.
"I think we should probably replace it discreetly and without a fuss.
"There was a lot of pride in Pontypridd in the band and what has happened has absolutely shocked, horrified and disgusted a lot of people.
"No-one has actually raised this as an issue with me but I think it's one of those things that if it's felt that it is offensive then I think the council would need to give some careful thought to removing it."
RCT Council said in a statement: "Rhondda Cynon Taf Council can confirm that granite paving featuring song lyrics written by convicted paedophile Ian Watkins will be removed from the streetscape of Pontypridd as soon as possible."
Claude Knights, chief executive of the child protection charity Kidscape, said: "Ian Watkins's crimes are appalling.
"It would be wise for the council to consider taking the slabs up. His work has been tainted.
"It should be removed for the sake of the local community."
Lostprophets were founded in Pontypridd in 1997 and the band sold about 3.5 million albums worldwide.