UK
22/05/2014 10:49 BST | Updated 23/05/2014 13:59 BST

Ian Watkins Sex Abuse: Inquiry Launched Into Whether Paedophile Lostprophets Singer's Fame Delayed Justice

An inquiry has been launched into whether the celebrity status of Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins delayed him being brought to justice.

The singer was jailed for 29 years last December for horrifying child sex offences, including the attempted rape of a baby.

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Ian Watkins pleaded guilty to two charges of attempting to rape a baby

His two accomplices, Woman A and Woman B, were jailed for 14 years and 17 years respectively.

Gross misconduct notices have been serves on seven police officers from three different forces as part of an investigation into how allegations made against Watkins were dealt with by police, the BBC has reported.

After his sentencing, police said they were investigating whether Watkins, 36, committed further abuse in the US and Germany. The first allegations are understood to have been made against Watkins in 2008, four years before he was finally arrested.

Three officers from South Yorkshire Police; two from Bedfordshire Police and two from South Wales Police are reportedly all under investigation.

"We are continuing to gather and analyse information in all three investigations in order to establish what steps were taken by police in response to the allegations made against Ian Watkins, whether he could have been brought to justice sooner and whether his celebrity status had any impact on those investigations," Independent Police Complaints Commission commissioner Jan Williams said.

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Watkins crouched in the back of a van on his way to Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday

The inquiry will look at how South Yorkshire Police handled three reports made to the force between March and May 2012, which contained allegations against Watkins with potential evidence.

It will also scrutinise how Bedfordshire Police dealt with information from a member of the public who reported an allegation of child abuse against Watkins in October 2012.

Watkins was described at Cardiff Crown Court as a committed and determined paedophile who had "plumbed new depths of depravity."

It later emerged that he even spoke with a female fan from prison the day after admitting two counts of attempted baby rape and said he was going to issue a statement saying it had all been "mega lolz".

The judiciary has published Mr Justice Royce's sentencing remarks, which can be read in full here. PLEASE NOTE THIS CONTAINS EXTREMELY DISTURBING, GRAPHIC DETAILS OF ABUSE.

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