Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Band's shock at singer sex charges

Ian Watkins' bandmates have spoken of their shock over the charges against him
Ian Watkins' bandmates have spoken of their shock over the charges against him

Bandmates of Lostprophets lead singer Ian Watkins have spoken of their shock at his arrest on sex abuse charges.

The 35-year-old appeared at Cardiff Magistrates' Court yesterday, accused of conspiring with a woman to rape a one-year-old girl.

The rock band's frontman, dressed in black, was remanded in custody to appear at Cardiff Crown Court on December 31.

The other members of the band put out a brief statement for fans last night, expressing their shock at what had happened.

"Following charges made today against Ian Watkins, we find ourselves in a state of shock. We are learning about the details of the investigation along with you," it read. "It is a difficult time for us and our families, and we want to thank our fans for their support as we seek answers.

"Jamie, Lee, Luke, Mike and Stu."

Watkins is accused of two counts of conspiring to engage in sexual touching with two young children, possessing, making and distributing indecent images, and possessing "extreme" animal pornography.

The conspiracy charges cover a period between May 1 and December 17, and the indecent images a period between August 12 and December 17.

Watkins was remanded in custody yesterday, along with two women, aged 24 and 20, who cannot be named, despite efforts to get him released. His lawyer argued that the singer's celebrity status would help enforce bail conditions. His mother, present at the hearing, also pledged her home as surety.

The Lostprophets have sold more than 3.5 million albums worldwide with Watkins as their frontman. A planned tour has been cancelled as a result of the sex allegations.

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