Ian David Karslake Watkins is a former Welsh singer, musician and songwriter, who earned significant renown as the frontman of the Welsh rock band “The Lost Prophets”, but is known now as a convicted sexual predator.
In 2013, Ian was arrested and charged with numerous counts of child sexual abuse and related offenses, and was subsequently sentenced to 29 years in prison after pleading guilty to the crimes he stood accused of, and would only be allowed a chance at parole after Watkins served at least two-thirds of his sentence.
Despite it being ten years since Ian’s incarceration, people have continued expressing an interest in Watkins’ case, as the obscenity of his once-secret life shocked, and continues to appal the public even to this day. While the nature of Watkins’ obsessions might be most certainly depraved and predatory, one of the most shocking revelations to be made in Watkins’ case, is the possibility that the former Welsh rock star should have faced justice much sooner.
As such, Watkins’ case has shed insightful light on the corruption that fame and fortune often present, and although the public learned of Ian’s sickening interests only when he had to face judgement, the rock star previously earned a bad reputation for his involvement with hard drugs.
During the course of his defence, Ian blamed his crimes on his bad habits, saying that he was constantly overwhelmed by female attention, often presented by underaged fans. Regardless of his explanations, the Judge who presided over Watkins’ prosecution noted him for being a monstrous predator who doesn’t belong in society.
In 2018, Ian Watkins once again made headlines in gossip articles, as it appears that even after ten years behind bars, the former rock star has no intention of rehabilitating. Following a routine search of his prison cell, wardens discovered an illegal mobile phone; according to certain reports, Ian used the phone to make contact with a potential victim, and because of it, Ian earned more time on his sentence.
With Watkins’ case once again gaining the attention of the public, it would seem only fitting that we dive into the secret life of the former Welsh musician, to present the public with an in-depth look at how Ian Watkins went from a rising rock star to a modern-day monster.
What To Expect?
As we reflect on Ian Watkins’ incarceration for child sexual abuse in 2013, we will briefly discuss Watkins’s early life and rise to fame as we explore his past career. Following this, we will detail Ian’s crimes as much as possible as we revisit his criminal trial, and explore the possibility that he could have faced earlier prosecution.
Finally, we end the discussion by reflecting on Watkins’ latest mischief behind bars, and how he recently raised suspicions that his rehabilitation at the correctional facility has been unsuccessful, and even cost him an extension to his sentence.
A Monster In The Making
Born on 30 July 1977 in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, United Kingdom, Ian spent most of his early life in Pontypridd, Wales, where he attended Hawthorn High School. While little is known about Ian’s childhood, nothing seemed to hint or suggest that he had paedophilic inclinations. On the contrary, Ian excelled academically, and seemed like an obedient student.
He later graduated from the University of Wales, Newport campus with a first-class honours degree in graphic design, and throughout his career as a singer, he continued to pursue further knowledge, mostly related to his chosen profession.
While attending Hawthorn High School, Ian met fellow student Mike Lewis, who would become both a good friend and a recurring bandmate. Mike and Ian’s fascination and love for music, specifically rock and metal, would form the foundation of their friendship, and eventually also their success.
Together, Watkins and Lewis formed their first act, a thrash metal band that didn’t attain much success, but proved a valuable learning experience for both musicians. The band, called ‘Aftermath’, indulged in thrash-metal, but performed mostly within the confines of a shed in Watkins’ backyard. Oover the two years Aftermath existed, the band performed live twice, though mostly struggled to land gigs.
Deciding to abandon his earlier project, Watkins met Lee Gaze through a mutual friend, and together they formed a new band, Fleshbind, taking inspiration from American punk rock.
Although short-lived, Fleshbind nonetheless enjoyed some success and performed at numerous shows, which included a support act for the British rock band, Feeder. Despite the many gigs and shows, the group disbanded, though Watkins and Gaze would remain in contact, eventually forming Lost Prophets.
In 1995, Ian reunited with his former bandmate and friend Lewis, as Ian took on the frontman position in a new hardcore band, Public Disturbance, but Ian would again abandon Lewis to become the lead vocalist of Lost Prophets, though initially performed for both bands.
LostProphets made their debut in 1997, going on to record five studio albums and complete numerous tours, as well as several festival performances from 2000 through to 2012. LostProphets disbanded in 2013, shortly following Watkins’ arrest and later prosecution.
While Ian may have earned some renown as an artist, singer and songwriter, his heinous crimes would earn him far more notoriety as Watkins is now seen as one of the worst monsters of the entertainment industry.
Watkins’ Secret Life Uncovered
Watkins was initially arrested by Welsh authorities in June of 2012 under various drug-related charges, which included possession of illegal narcotics. While this was something Ian was already known for, as his fellow bandmates later confessed that they knew Watkins smuggled cocaine and meth regularly between the US and the UK, it would not be his last encounter with the law.
Watkins was able to make bail, but was again arrested in November later that year on similar charges, but this time was also caught in possession of a photograph depicting vulgar obscenity with a child. After pleading innocent, Watkins somehow made bail for the second time, only to be arrested a third time in December.
While being charged with drug possession, the authorities also continued their previous investigation, leading the police to conduct a search of the rock star’s property, and more specifically Watkins’ personal computer, on which was discovered the evidence that would lead to his incarceration, including but not limited to obscene pictures of child abuse and sexual acts with animals.
On 19 December 2012, Ian was officially charged with conspiracy to engage sexually with a one-year-old child, as well as being in the possession and distribution of child pornography.
Ian was detained and remained in police custody, along with his fellow accused and conspirators, two women who have remained anonymous, until the end of their criminal trial. Ultimately, Watkins was hit with 23 individual charges related to child sexual abuse and bestiality, receiving a 29-year-long sentence with eligibility for parole in 2031. Upon his release, Watkins would have to complete six years of observed parole before perhaps becoming a free man again.
His partners in crime, the unknown women, received 17 and 14 years respectively, though the details of Watkins’ crimes, and that of his co-conspirators, is what was the most appalling part of the whole affair, and perhaps the former Welsh rock star’s choice of legal defence. Unfortunately, possibly for the safety of the victims, the full graphic details of the case weren’t made available to the public, though Watkins’ case became something of a fascination to people.
As Watkins would claim during his trial, while making his defence, fans, especially female fans, would bombard him with sexual attention, and quite often they would be underage girls. According to Watkin’s defence, some of the advances made by the girls could be considered as obscene or even extreme depravity.
This, combined with Ian’s ongoing struggle with narcotics would act as the basis of the rock star’s defence, hoping to plead for mitigation and avoid going to trial. An attempt was also made by Watkins’ defence lawyer to move the prosecution outside of Wales, but the appeal, much like his defence, fell apart.
It was argued that Watkins was often lured, or seduced into acts with underage fans, and that he was a nymphomaniac in need of help. While Watkins’ defence argued that he was obsessed with filming himself in the act of sex, and that he had a preoccupation with sex, Watkins was ultimately not a paedophile, and did not express a sexual interest in children.
As Ian would testify in his own defence, he claimed that many of the messages he shared with underaged fans were meaningless, and more often a boast of whenever he was under the influence of narcotics. He also added that no one was physically hurt in any way, and while sickened by the material, he remains glad that nobody was hurt.
Watkins’ defence also argued that he had little recollection of the acts he stood accused of, claiming that he might have been intoxicated when it happened. However, as it would turn out, Watkins’ defence was unable to earn him any sympathy, and he received a strict sentence based on the evidence produced in court.
As would later be reported, police found more paedophilic content on Watkins’ laptop, following a decryption of his security password, which notably reads ‘I FUK KIDS’. With more evidence to back the prosecution, Watkins’ fate would become unavoidable.
As for the women prosecuted with Watkins, one, a then 21-year-old single mother to a child who could potentially have become Warkins’ victim, accused the rock star of introducing her to narcotics, even claiming he forced her to take some, adding that she was vulnerable and that Watkins took advantage of her, however, her pleas were ignored, and she received a 14-year-long sentence.
The other woman in question, a 24-year-old single mother, also accused Watkins of corrupting her, saying he took advantage of her while she suffered from postnatal depression, and an undiagnosed personality disorder. However, her defence also wouldn’t hold up in court and she was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Following Watkins’ trial, it came to light that the earliest reports concerning Ian’s involvement in sexual offences with a child dated back to 2008, but because South Wales police were allegedly negligent in not acting on the reports, Watkins escaped early detection and prosecution.
The earliest reports of Watkins being seen with underaged fans was in 2006 while on tour to support LostProphets’ third album release, though the band members and tour crew stated that they remained unaware of Watkins’ activities with minors.
As Watkins’ former girlfriend, Joanne Mjadzelics, testified, Watkins would often share or boast of pictures of children depicting all kinds of obscenities. According to Joanne, she was disgusted by Ian’s behaviour, even reporting him to the South Wales police in 2010. However, the authorities once again failed to follow up on the accusations, allowing Watkins to remain free for the next two years.
Two more reports surfaced since Watkins’ trial ended, one from Australia where a woman claimed Watkins assaulted her child, though authorities didn’t act on the accusations. The other report holds claims that a Californian family laid charges against Watkins, accusing him of sexually assaulting their 2-year-old child. Once again, Watkins avoided the negligent law.
In the wake of these reports, investigations were launched against the police departments that were involved, leading to the dismissal of one detective, and according to certain reports, several officers received disciplinary hearings. While a little too late, perhaps the authorities in question learned their lesson.
As for Watkins, despite being behind bars for the past ten years now, little has changed for the ruined rock star, who in 2018, was caught in the possession of a mobile device in his cell. Of course, this isn’t allowed, leading to further disciplinary action against Watkins. According to him, he was forced to keep the said device for other inmates.
However, evidence on the device suggested that it belonged to Watkins, who was using it to remain in contact with an alleged girlfriend outside of prison. While still unconfirmed, and possibly speculative rumours, Watkins still received a ten-month addition to his sentence for being in possession of prison contraband.
While it is disappointing to witness a popular artist and star fall to the corruption of fame, wealth, and the associated narcotic habits and hardcore lifestyles of rock stars, we nonetheless wish their victims the best, hoping for their full, healthy recoveries.