British singer sentenced to 35 years for child abuse

Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:53pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - The lead singer of British rock group Lostprophets was sentenced on Wednesday to 35 years for child sex offences, and police said they were liaising with officers in the United States and Germany to establish whether he committed sex crimes there.

Ian Watkins, 36, pleaded guilty to 13 counts relating to child abuse at Cardiff Crown Court in Wales last month.

Two mothers of children he abused, who admitted child abuse charges, were sentenced to 14 and 17 years.

Before sentencing Watkins, Judge John Royce told him: "You are a deeply corrupting influence, you are highly manipulative, you are a sexual predator."

"The public and in particular young females and children need protection from you," Royce said.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Doyle, senior investigating officer for South Wales Police, said the investigation into Watkins "uncovered the most disturbing child abuse evidence I have seen in my 28 years as a police officer".

Police believe they have not tracked down all of Watkins' victims and are conducting further investigations, with help from forces across Britain, international police organization Interpol and the U.S. Department for Homeland Security.

British detectives have already travelled to the United States and to Germany, where Lostprophets toured on several occasions.

The Welsh group, which has sold more than 3 million records worldwide, broke up in October after Watkins was charged.   Continued...