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Police missed a number of chances to catch paedophile Ian Watkins, report finds

Watkins was jailed for 35 years in 2013.

Ian Watkins investigation Ian Watkins following his arrest in 2012. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

POLICE COULD HAVE captured paedophile Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins earlier had they acted on multiple reports of child sex abuse, a new report has found.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found that officers missed chances to bring Watkins to justice. The force was found not to have acted properly on “eight reports and three intelligence logs from six people” about the abuse.

Watkins was jailed for 35 years back in 2013 after admitting 13 child sex offences.

The IPCC investigation was carried out following complaints from Watkins’ ex-girlfriend Joanne Mjadzelics that officers failed to investigate allegations she repeatedly made to South Yorkshire Police against Watkins between March and May 2012.

She complained that officers failed to conduct an examination of her laptop when she took it to Doncaster Police Station three times during that period. The laptop allegedly contained an indecent image of a child that Watkins, then lead singer of the Lostprophets rock band, had sent her.

IPCC Commissioner Jan Williams said the inaction of the police force may have placed a child at risk of further abuse for a number of months.

The evidence suggests there was a general view among officers at Doncaster that Ms Mjadzelics was not to be taken seriously, and consequently enquiries were not progressed as they should have been.

“It is concerning that a neighbourhood police constable without specific training or support, rather than an officer from a specialist team, was expected to view and make judgement on a potential image of child sexual abuse.

“South Yorkshire Police did not handle a request for assistance from South Wales Police thoroughly. I have recommended they create a policy document setting out what is expected of officers in collaborating on serious offence investigations.”

Watkins was arrested in December 2012 and charged with more than 20 offences, including the attempted rape of a baby, conspiring to sexually assault a child and making indecent images.

The 36-year-old had denied the charges but changed his plea and admitted 11 offences, including sexually touching a one-year-old, encouraging a fan to abuse her child and making child pornography.

Sentencing Watkins at the time, Judge Royce told him:

You are a sexual predator. You are dangerous. The public, and in particular young females and children, need protection from you.

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