- Detective Sergeant Andrew Whelan allegedly failed to investigate complaints
- It is claimed he ignored three complaints which came through Crimestoppers
- He also ignored a complainant who said he ‘fantasised about abusing children’
- Whelan had 25-year ‘unblemised career’ and worked 18-hour days, hearing told
A veteran detective with an ‘unblemished’ 25-year career botched the investigation into paedophile Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins, a hearing has been told.
Detective Sergeant Andrew Whelan allegedly failed to investigate complaints about Watkins, years before the musician was eventually arrested over a string of sex abuse crimes.
The singer, 39, was jailed for 35 years in 2013 after pleading guilty to 13 charges of sexual abusing children including the attempted rape of a baby.
But reports were made to police back in 2008, with complainants claiming the paedophile could have been arrested several years earlier.
Detective Sergeant Andrew Whelan (left), of South Wales Police, allegedly botched the investigation into LostProphets paedophile Ian Watkins (right)
A Police Misconduct hearing is now being held in Bridgend where DS Whelan, from South Wales Police, faces two misconduct charges over his handling of the case.
In the first charge, the officer is accused of failing to act on information about Watkins which was given to Crimestoppers three times between March and October 2010.
The second allegation is that, in October 2010, DS Whelan failed to react to a complaint from an unnamed member of the public which claimed that Watkins had child pornography on his computer.
The complainant also told police that the singer ‘fantasised about abusing children.’
John Beggs QC, representing DS Whelan, described the officer as an ‘exemplary officer’, who was dedicated to his duty.
He said DS Whelan had a 25-year ‘unblemished’ career.
‘The only motive is the decent motive of protecting children,’ he told the hearing.
‘He had six years of unrelenting hell where he worked many more hours than he was being paid, and was frequently working 18 hour days.
Watkins is known for being the former frontman for Welsh rock band, Lostprophets
‘This was an isolated out of character incident in difficult circumstances.
‘He gave his best for six punishing years and it is that one mistake that has been brought to your attention.’
He added: ‘It would be quite inappropriate to taint this officer’s record with a misconduct finding.’
Watkins pleaded guilty in November 2013 to 13 child sex offences at Cardiff Crown Court.
Watkins’s former girlfriend Joanne Mjadzelics, 41 (pictured in 2015) claimed she told police about the singer’s crimes but was repeatedly ignore
Joanne Mjadzelics, was also charged with sharing indecent images of children with the rock star.
But she was found not guilty after claiming she had only engaged in the graphic conversations to prove his crimes to officers.
Ms Mjadzelics claimed during the trial that she told police about the rock star’s paedophile intentions – including how he possessed images of a young girl being raped – but was repeatedly ignored because officers viewed her as a ‘nut job’.
During her trial, defence barrister Michael Wolkind QC claimed she only landed in court as part of cover-up by police who failed to investigate Watkins because he was famous.
The court heard how she even wrote letters to Watkins’s mother – warning her of her son’s paedophile activities – but was questioned by police for ‘harassing’ his family.
She then claimed she tried to ‘trap’ the Lostprophets singer, engaging in graphic and disturbing online chats to get evidence against him.
Watkins was sentenced to 29 years in prison with a further six years on licence, but he will be eligible for parole after serving two thirds of the prison term.
The hearing, in front of chairman Robert Vernon, continues.