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GCHQ experts could uncover more evidence in Lostprophets' Ian Watkins case

By Michael_Yong  |  Posted: December 19, 2013

By Michael Yong

Ian Watkins

Ian Watkins

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Computer experts at GCHQ are believed to be working to uncover evidence of potential further offences by paedophile rock singer Ian Watkins.

This follows staff at the Cheltenham listening post being instrumental in unlocking his laptop to reveal a string of horrific child sex abuse videos which led to the 36-year-old being jailed.

GCHQ workers are now expected to continue their work with South Wales Police to find proof of other offences committed by the former lead singer of the now disbanded Welsh group Lostprophets.

Watkins, from Pontypridd, Wales, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for child sex offences on Wednesday.

He had pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court on November 13 to the offences.

In sentencing, Mr Justice Royce said the singer had “plunged into new depths of depravity”, and Watkins was described as a “committed and determined paedophile”.

Two mothers, known only as Woman A and Woman B, were sentenced to 14 year and 17 years respectively. They were mothers to the abused children.

Watkins will now spend 29 years in prison, with a further six years on licence.

Judge Royce said: “You, Watkins, achieved fame and success as the lead singer of Lostprophets. You had many fawning fans.

“That gave you power. You knew you could use that power to induce young female fans to help satisfy your insatiable lust and take part in the sexual abuse of their own children.

“Away from the highlights of your public performances lay a dark and sinister side.”

Last month, it was revealed experts from GCHQ had helped to crack his laptop, after investigators at South Wales Police found it in his flat.

The laptop contained pictures and videos of the children he sexually abused, in hotels in South Wales and London.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Doyle, who is leading the investigations, said: “The investigation has been extremely complex and challenging with key information and evidence being identified from witnesses worldwide.

“A significant amount of electronic data has been retrieved from computers and web-based storage which has provided crucial evidence to support the case.

“South Wales Police has worked in partnership with Interpol, other police forces, National Crime Agency’s CEOP command, local authorities in England and Wales, the Department of Homeland Security in the USA and the NSPCC.”

He added the guilty plea did not mean the investigations would stop.

“The guilty plea entered by Watkins and co-defendants does not mark the end of the investigation. We will work tirelessly to identify any other victims or witnesses and seek the justice they deserve.

“In the last few weeks, we have received further information that will now be looked at by the investigation team.”

“This sentence reflects the gravity of the crimes that have been committed.

“The three paedophiles responsible for the terrible abuse of two babies have now been brought to justice.

“The investigation uncovered the most disturbing child abuse evidence I have seen in my 28 years as a police officer.

“The guilty pleas have ensured the jury were spared from viewing evidence that would have been extremely traumatic.”

He added that investigation teams around the world, including Germany and the United States were also carrying out their own probes.

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