Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

'Rip up Watkins' song words paving'

Ian Watkins admitted a string of sexual offences including attempting to rape a baby

Calls are growing for song lyrics penned by paedophile rocker Ian Watkins which are inscribed on paving slabs in his home town to be "ripped up" and trashed.

Words originally immortalised in a street in Pontypridd, South Wales, with pride are now an unwelcome reminder of the town's links to the former Lostprophets frontman, said local Labour AM Mick Antoniw.

Child sex fiend Ian, 36, pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court last month to a host of offences including two counts of attempted rape of a baby.

The 11th-hour admissions, which have shocked and sickened fans, came as he was about to stand trial accused of 24 separate sex offences.

Family, friends, fans and former bandmates have all spoken of their shock and horror at the secret life of debauchery he led for years.

Ian is due to be sentenced on December 18.

Just last year, 10 paving slabs inscribed with lyrics from the song Streets Of Nowhere were put down with pride in Taff Street in Pontypridd.

Part of a civic regeneration project seeking to highlight the area's culture and successes, Ian's words state: "Every time I walk these streets I know they're mine."

His words are on public display along with lyrics from Green Green Grass Of Home, a hit for Sir Tom Jones, another local boy.

Mick said: "I think that the paving was originally put down in good faith when there was a lot of pride locally surrounding the Lostprophets. Since then there have been a number of concerns raised and quite a lot of shock in Pontypridd about the detail of what he did.

"This was something that was put in place and intended for people to take pride in. The feeling is that it should be ripped up now. It's not something that the council should make a song and dance about but I think that these pavings should be discreetly removed."

A council spokesman said: "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."

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