Ian Watkins, the former lead singer of Welsh rock band Lostprophets, reportedly groomed a female fan while in prision, causing her to lose custody of her 2-year-old child.
Watkins, 40, was jailed for 35 years in 2013 for a string of sexual offenses, including trying to rape a baby, conspiring to rape another and making child pornography, The Associated Press reported. His band, which was formed in 1997 and had a chart-topping album in 2006, “Liberation Transmission” – announced it was disbanding after Watkins’ arrest.
The woman, 21, reportedly wrote a letter to Watkins last year telling the disgraced singer that she was still a fan of his. Watkins wrote back telling her “he loved her,” The Sun reported.
The woman visited Watkins in November in Wakefield Prison, United Kingdom, and was “shocked” by the singer’s unkempt appearance, her friend told The Sun.
The woman said the singer had gained weight, his teeth were rotted and his once-black hair had gone gray. She also said she became spooked when he asked her “what she would do if her child came into the room during sex,” The Sun reported.
The woman told her friend she would “never let her daughter near him.” However, in December her laptop and phone were confiscated by police and her 2-year-old was taken from her.
The woman continued to visit Watkins and also allegedly bought a ring he suggested she wear as an “engagement ring.” The prison told The Sun that they did not discover “[anything] untoward” in the letters exchanged between the mother and Watkins.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) told The Sun they were shocked by the discovery. Watkins has been accused of grooming his fans so he can sexually abuse their young children, Yahoo UK reported.
“This is an absolute shambles. We’re sickened. It’s utterly bewildering that he could carry on grooming,” a spokesperson for the NSPCC said.
It was not immediately clear if the child has been returned to her mother but Lincoln Police said, “We will always take action to safeguard vulnerable adults and children.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.