By Scott T. Sterling
One the more disturbing stories of the year is coming to close, with Ian Watkins, lead singer of the Welsh rock band Lostprophets, being sentenced to today (Dec. 18) to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to 13 counts of child sex offenses.
According to BBC News, Watkins was sentenced along two female co-defendants, who received 14 and 17 years behind bars for their role in the crimes.
The singer’s official sentence is 29 years with six years “on license,” and will have to serve at least two-thirds of the jail time before being eligible for parole. This “extended sentence” was employed for “public protection in the case of offenders who are deemed particularly dangerous,” a category the judge feels applies to Watkins.
“Those who have appeared in these courts over many years, see here, a large number of horrific cases,” said presiding judge Mr. Justice Royce during the sentencing. “This case breaks new ground. Any decent person… will experience shock, revulsion and incredulity.”
Watkins owned up to the charges back in November, after initially denying any guilt with his original plea.
“This investigation has uncovered the most shocking and harrowing child abuse evidence I have ever seen,” said Detective Chief Inspector Peter Doyle from South Wales Police at the time. “There is no doubt in my mind that Ian Watkins exploited his celebrity status in order to abuse young children.”