independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Council rip up paving slabs inscribed with Lyrics from paedophile Ian Watkins

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

Council chiefs have bowed to public pressure and agreed to rip out street paving slabs inscribed with lyrics penned by paedophile rocker Ian Watkins.

Words set down with pride on a street in Pontypridd, South Wales - where Watkins grew up, have become an unwelcome reminder of the sick sex offender.

Local Labour AM Mick Antoniw was among an increasingly loud chorus of voices calling for the paving stones to be ripped out and trashed.

The high profile tainted legacy of the confessed child sex offender and former Lostprohets frontman was something that people now loathed, he claimed.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council bosses have now agreed that the offending slabs will be ripped out as soon as possible.

Watkins, 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 even hardcore fans, came as he was about to stand trial accused of 24 separate sex offences.

Further details of the singer's perverted sexual appetite have continued to emerge from a variety of sources since then.

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

Watkins, who has turned from local-boy-made-good into an object of loathing, will be sentenced on December 18.

It was only last year that 10 paving slabs transcribed with lyrics from the song Streets Of Nowhere were put down with pride in Taff Street.

Part of a civic regeneration project seeking to highlight the area's culture and successes, Watkins' 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.

"I think that the paving was originally put down in good faith when there was a lot of pride locally surrounding the Lostprophets," said Mr Antoniw.

"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.

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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