Wales

IPCC look into why police ignored Ian Watkins warnings

Ian Watkins Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption Watkins was sentenced to 35 years in 2013

Paedophile Ian Watkins was reported to authorities four times in the four years before he was arrested.

Despite allegations he raped a child and wanted to father another to abuse, the former rock star was not interviewed.

Eight police officers are currently under investigation by the IPCC.

The police watchdog has concerns his celebrity status delayed him being brought to justice.

At Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday, the woman who had tried to alert the world to his crimes - his ex-girlfriend Joanne Mjadzelics - was finally vindicated when she was cleared on all charges of child sex abuse images.

Vehemently denying all charges, Ms Mjadzelics insisted she was only ever trying to trap the paedophile by exchanging explicit pictures and conversations with him.

The verdict is a culmination of seven year ordeal for the 39 year-old from Doncaster.

During the week-long trial, the court heard that she first alerted the authorities in December 2008 - five years before Watkins was sentenced to 35 years for a catalogue of charges including the attempted rape of a baby.

She had contacted social workers to report Watkins' for 'inappropriate conduct with a child'.

The police got involved. An investigation followed but officers wrote off Mjadzelics as a "nuisance" harassing the rock star.

Defence barrister Michael Wolkind said: "The police failed to protect babies from Watkins and mothers who donated their babies to him."

He was, of course, referring to the two women, both mothers, who were jailed alongside Watkins for their part in his sexual abuse of young children.

It was this behaviour that Ms Mjadzelics had tried repeatedly to alert police to.

But, Mr Wolkind added: "To police, Joanne Mjadzelics became a nuisance who had been harassing that nice Mr Watkins."


Image copyright Wales News Service

Timeline of allegations

  • 29 December 2008 - Joanne Mjadzelics' reported Watkins to Pontypridd Child Services for inappropriate conduct with a child
  • 31 December 2008 - Rhondda children's services received a handwritten letter from Mjadzelics
  • 8 January 2009 - Meeting held to discuss allegations, police investigation opened
  • 28 March 2009 - Mjadzelics is interviewed by West Yorkshire Police
  • 1 June 2009 - Investigation officially closed by South Wales Police
  • 4 October 2010 - Report made to the Met Police by someone else of "disturbing comments" made by Ian Watkins
  • 29 May 2011 - Mjadzelics sent email to ACPO claiming Watkins had raped a young child
  • 21 September 2012 - Watkins is arrested and bailed and his computers seized

Police records show that although she was interviewed after making initial allegations in 2008, the fact there were no identifiable victims - and concerns had been raised by Mjadzelics' sister about her mental health - meant no further action was taken.

"There is no evidence of any criminal offences, only the allegations made by a disgruntled ex-partner," concluded a police report.

'Too late'

Mjadzelics went to police on another two occasions. By September 2012 when South Wales Police finally raided Watkins' house, someone else - we do not know who - had also reported concerns over the rock star's behaviour.

When Watkins was arrested Mjadzelics said she told police: "You're four years too late - there's children out there that are never going to be found."

Four officers from South Yorkshire Police, two from Bedfordshire Police, and two from South Wales Police face gross misconduct notices as the Independent Police Complaints Commission inquiry continues.

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