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Former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins found guilty of possessing phone in prison

Ian Watkins

Disgraced former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins has been found guilty of possessing a mobile phone in prison.

Watkins, who was sentenced to 35 years in 2013 for a string of child sex offences, was accused of having a phone in his cell last year. 

He pleaded not guilty in court in March this year, with the case returning to Leeds Crown Court this week.

During the five day trial, it emerged that Watkins was strip searched at HMP Wakefield after authorities received information about the phone’s existence. Nothing was initially found only for Watkins to later produce the phone from his anus (opens in new tab) after he was questioned by a prison officer.

Wales Online (opens in new tab) report that Watkins claimed he was forced to keep hold of the phone by two other inmates as part of a plan to try and extort money from women who send Watkins "hundreds and hundreds of pages of letters" to the prison.

It’s reported that Watkins refused to name the men, adding: “You would not want to mess with them."

The court heard that the phone had been used to contact Watkins’ ex girlfriend Gabriella Persson, who also gave evidence at the trial.

Persson said she received a text reading “Hi Gabriella-ella,-ella-eh-eh-eh" from an unknown number in March 2018 and she subsequently called it back and confirmed it was from Watkins.

Prosecutor Stephen Wood said it was Persson who reported the use of the phone and that the prosecution rejected the notion that Watkins was being forced to hang on to it last year.

Judge Rodney Jameson QC said: “I am very conscious of the fact you are serving a very long time and you will be well into middle age by the time you are released.

"The fact of the matter is if there is not an appreciable penalty for having had a mobile phone in these circumstances then of course you would draw from that the lesson you could have another one and that is not a position I would want to encourage."

Watkins was sentenced to a further 10 months to be served consecutively to his current jail term. 

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.