Ian Watkins, the former lead singer of the Welsh alt-metal band Lostprophets, and a convicted pedophile, is reportedly fighting for his life after a brutal attack in a British prison. Watkins, who is serving a 29-year sentence for horrific sex offenses including the rape of a child under the age of 13 and conspiracy to rape a baby, was taken hostage by three fellow inmates at England’s notorious HMP Wakefield. The subsequent six-hour standoff with corrections officers resulted in Watkins being repeatedly stabbed and beaten.
Sky News reported that Watkins’ injuries were not life-threatening. However, the British tabloid The Mirror stated that Watkins’ condition is indeed life-threatening, with an inside source revealing, “There are fears he could die. If he survives, he’ll have been very lucky.” The prison service has confirmed the incident, but details remain limited as the police investigation is ongoing.
Watkins, now 46 years old, is a decade into his sentence for a series of heinous crimes that shocked the world. The password to encrypted files on his computer was found to be “I FUK KIDZ” during the trial, highlighting the depths of his depravity. His criminal acts came to light in 2012, leading to the disbandment of the Lostprophets, which had previously scored four Top 10 records in the U.K.
HMP Wakefield, where Watkins is incarcerated, is one of the country’s most feared prisons. Known as the “Monster Mansion,” it houses some of the nation’s most dangerous criminals, including murderers, sex offenders, and serial killers. The prison’s reputation is undoubtedly well-earned, given the high-profile, high-risk prisoners it has housed over the years. These include Harold Shipman, considered the most prolific serial killer in modern history, Charles Bronson, dubbed the “most violent prisoner in Britain,” and currently, Robert Maudsley, known as the real-life “Hannibal the Cannibal.”
In 2019, Watkins was given an additional 10 months in prison for possessing a mobile phone, which he claimed he was forced to hold onto by other prisoners. Watkins did not reveal the identities of these prisoners out of fear, stating that he was incarcerated with “the worst of the worst.”
Watkins’ sexual offenses date back to at least March 2007, when he filmed himself engaging in sexual activity with a 16-year-old. He was also reported to have had oral sex with another 16-year-old fan who snorted a substance believed to be cocaine. His ex-girlfriend, Joanne Mjadzelics, alerted the police to Watkins’ behaviors, reporting that he had given a child cocaine and touched the victim inappropriately. Despite these allegations, the police did not initially investigate Watkins, and his crimes continued.
In 2012, Watkins was arrested three times for drug charges, including possession of methamphetamines and cocaine. Following his third arrest, a police search of his property and computer uncovered damning evidence of his pedophilic tendencies. The most shocking of his crimes were revealed during his trial in November 2013. Watkins had formed relationships with two fans who were mothers, and they allowed him to engage in sexual activities with their children, a 10-month-old boy and an infant girl. Both mothers eventually pleaded guilty to conspiring to rape.
During Watkins’ sentencing, Justice John Royce described him as a “highly manipulative” predator, stating that Watkins was a “deeply corrupting influence,” a “highly manipulative,” “sexual predator,” and “dangerous.” Watkins was in possession of at least 90 indecent photos of children ranging in age from 2 to 14 years old.
It is against this backdrop that Watkins finds himself fighting for his life in what is arguably one of the harshest prisons in the UK. The incident underscores the grim reality of prison life, particularly for those convicted of crimes against children. The attack on Watkins, while shocking, is perhaps not entirely surprising given his heinous crimes and the notorious nature of HMP Wakefield and its inmates. As the police investigation into the prison attack continues, the public waits to learn more about the fate of one of rock music’s most notorious criminals.