LOSTPROPHETS singer Ian Watkins has been jailed for 35 years for child sex offences including the attempted rape of a baby.
Watkins, 36, from Pontypridd, pleaded guilty to 13 child sex offences at Cardiff Crown Court in November.
On Wednesday, the court heard he was “deeply deeply sorry” and “belatedly realised the gravity of what happened..
But Mr Justice Royce said the case broke “new ground” and “plunged into new depths of depravity“.
Watkins was sentenced alongside two women, mothers of the abused children, known as Woman A and Woman B, who also pleaded guilty to child abuse charges at a hearing in November.
He admitted the attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13 but pleaded not guilty to rape.
He also admitted conspiring to rape a child, three counts of sexual assault involving children, seven involving taking, making or possessing indecent images of children and one of possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal.
As the hearing resumed, Mr Justice Royce said the case “plunged into new depths of depravity“.
“Those who have appeared in these courts over many years see here a large number of horrific cases,” he said.
“This case breaks new ground. Any decent person… will experience shock, revulsion and incredulity.”
He added it was a “classic case that the evidence was so overwhelming” there should not be credit given.
The court heard Watkins, according to a psychiatric report, has a need to dominate, to test out his sexual partners
The judge said Watkins had a “corrupting influence”, and had shown a “complete lack of remorse”. He also said Watkins posed a significant risk to the public in particular to women with young children.
He told Woman A: “What you were both doing is both sickening and incomprehensible.
Earlier on Wednesday, the court was told that during the calls made while Watkins was at Parc Prison in Bridgend, he denied being a paedophile and told the caller he only pleaded guilty to avoid a trial.
In the phone call he said: “It was mega lolz. I don’t know what everyone is getting freaked out about.”
But defending barrister Sally O’Neill QC told the court how Watkins “belatedly realised the gravity of what happened” and was “deeply, deeply sorry”.
She said the Lostprophets were an extremely well-known band.
“Ian Watkins was the lead singer and was the focus of constant attention from fans and some would do anything to get it – and keep it,” she told the court.
He developed an “obsession” with filming himself having sex.
Fans used “extraordinary tactics” to get his attention, and the teenagers he filmed himself having sex with were “extremely willing” participants, she added.
She asked for credit for Watkins’s guilty plea to spare the jury and others “an extremely difficult and distressing” trial.
However Mr Justice Royce said she was being “wholly unrealistic” to consider that to be mitigation of his guilty plea.
He called Watkins’ actions “horrific sexual abuse of babies”.
Ms O’Neill said the videos needed to be looked at “in context” of his life and not in isolation.
She said Watkins life changed at the age of 30 when he became addicted to drugs which had played a “significant” part in the offences.
She said Watkins had no memory of the crime involving Woman A and her son, where he admitted to the attempted rape of a baby.
“Because he had no memory he could not believe he had done that,” she said, adding he had now “confronted reality” over what he had done.
Watkins was on 15-minute suicide watch while on remand, the court heard.
Ms O’Neill said the crimes were deeply serious but added: “The baby’s mother was clearly encouraging him.”
The court heard Watkins’s relationship with Woman B initially involved sending hundreds of messages including images of bestiality, before he even knew her name.
Ms O’Neill said: “The involvement and responsibility of these offences is joint and equal and without the mothers would not have taken place.
“It would be hard to say how hard he has fallen… whatever sentence is given, he will be in prison for a large number of years.
“He does not know how he’s going to cope with it.”
Jonathan Fuller QC, defending for Woman A, said she felt genuine remorse and was devastated by what she had done.
“She was a vulnerable girl who allowed herself to be manipulated and corrupted by this co-defendant [who] introduced her to a world of drugs including injecting her with heroin to facilitate his sexual gratification,” he said.
“And ultimately she allowed herself to be taken to a very dark place.”
He told the court she was “no obsessive fan” but “she didn’t know how far she was prepared to go” to secure her relationship with Watkins.
Mr Justice Royce said the planning of the crimes was “chilling”.
Christine Laing QC, defending Woman B, said she was a fan with a personality disorder suffering from post-natal depression.
The court heard she could not believe Watkins could be interested in her and was flattered.
He promised her “a life she could only ever have dreamed of”.
Watkins said to her: “You can reap the rewards of your master…. you and your daughter now belong to me.”
From then on she was “hooked”.
Medical evidence showed the child had not been physically harmed.
Ms Laing said a report said she was clearly remorseful for her behaviour and the loss of her child was her punishment.