LONDON (AP) — Detectives missed chances to stop pedophile rock star Ian Watkins in the years before he was charged with child sex abuse, Britain's police watchdog said Friday.
Watkins, lead singer of the Welsh band Lostprophets, was sentenced in 2013 to 29 years in prison for crimes against children as young as 1.
In a highly critical report, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said that South Wales Police made mistakes and in some cases failed to "carry out even rudimentary investigation" into reports about Watkins' behavior by an ex-girlfriend and other witnesses between 2008 and 2012.
Ex-girlfriend Joanne Mjadzelics told police in 2009 that she had a cellphone message from Watkins about his desire to sexually abuse children. The watchdog said police considered her report "malicious" and didn't examine the phone.
Watkins, now 40, was eventually arrested for drug offenses in 2012, and police found evidence of abuse on his computers.
Lostprophets — which formed in 1997 and had a chart-topping album in 2006 with "Liberation Transmission" — disbanded after Watkins' arrest.