Sunday 19 November 2017

Lostprophets break silence on Ian Watkins after child sex abuse conviction

Police fear there may be other young victims of Ian Watkins in Europe and America
Police fear there may be other young victims of Ian Watkins in Europe and America
Paedophile former Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins

Ella Alexander

Two former members of Lostprophets, guitarists Mike Lewis and Lee Gaze, have described how they were “shocked beyond comprehension” when they found out that frontman Ian Watkins was facing allegations of child abuse.

Lewis – who has a young daughter - had known the singer since he was five, while father-of-two Gaze met him as a 15-year-old.

Neither Gaze nor Lewis want any further communication with their former friend and bandmate.

“I’ve thought about it long and hard and, no, I have no interest in ever speaking to him again,” Lewis told the Sunday Times.

“I feel incredibly bad for his mother and his whole family and the stigma they have to endure now because of what he’s done and what his actions have done to hurt many people.

“But I have no interest in questioning him about it. Never.”

“I don’t think I’d get the answers I wanted,” said Gaze.

“And I don’t know what knowing answers to certain questions would give me now either.”

Watkins was sentenced to 39 years in prison in December 2013, following a series of serious sex offences involving children. The 36-year-old admitted to the attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13, but pleaded not guilty to rape.

He also confessed to 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.

“I tried reading the judge’s report. I couldn’t even finish it,” said Lewis.  “To think that somebody I grew up with, who I had been friends with my entire life, whose mother I knew, and how close our families were — to even imagine him… I find it utterly unbelievable that he was capable of doing those things. Obviously he did, but how somebody can…

 “I don’t understand it, I’m afraid.”

Although the band knew that Watkins was struggling with drug addiction, Gaze said that there was “was absolutely nothing that led us to suspect what he’d done”.

“He was always surrounded by all these women, so it just seemed impossible,” he said.

Independent News Service

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