Former Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins has been found guilty of possessing a mobile phone while in prison.
The 42-year-old was found with the phone in HMP Wakefield, West Yorkshire, where he is serving a sentence for sex offences.
Watkins denied the charge and said that two inmates forced him to hold on to the device so that they could contact women who sent him mail in order to use them as a “revenue stream”.
Giving evidence at Leeds Crown Court, he refused to name the men, but described them as “murderers and handy”.
He added: “You would not want to mess with them.”
The former singer also said that the people he is currently locked up with are “murderers, mass murderers, rapists, paedophiles, serial killers – the worst of the worst”.
He was sentenced to 10 months in prison, to be served on top of his current sentence.
Watkins was sentenced to 29 years in prison in 2013 after admitting 13 sex offences which a judge said “plumbed new depths of depravity”, including the attempted rape of a baby.
Judge Rodney Jameson QC said on Friday: “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.”
He said he did not accept Watkins had the phone, which was in his possession for five days, because he had been threatened.
Gareth Burrows, defending, said Watkins would be eligible to apply for parole in 2029.
He said: “The reality is this is a man whose liberty has been and will be restricted for a considerable period of time.
“The mobile phone, Your Honour may think, gave him some degree of freedom that he just can’t get in any other way.”
The sentence will delay the time when Watkins could apply for parole by five months, the judge said.
During the five-day trial at Leeds Crown Court, the jury heard Watkins was strip-searched in the jail in March last year after a woman called to say she thought he had been talking to her on a banned mobile.
Prison officers that had been alerted to Watkins being in possession of a phone could not find it during a search of his cell.
Watkins then asked if he would still be able to see his mother, who was due to visit, before he “produced” the phone from his body.
A small charger was later discovered in the cell.
Stephen Wood, prosecuting, said the phone, a small GT-Star, had been used to contact former girlfriend Gabriella Persson, who had stopped contacting him in 2012.
Jurors heard that she resumed talking to him in 2016 through letters, phone calls and via legitimate prison emails.
Ms Persson told jurors how she received a text in March 2018 from a number she did not recognise which read: “Hi Gabriella-ella,-ella-eh-eh-eh”.
She said the message, which made reference to the lyrics of the Rihanna song Umbrella, made her believe it was Watkins contacting her, and she then phoned the number to confirm it was.
courtesy of Sky News