The appeal judges in Cardiff stated that the offenses were “of such shocking depravity that they demanded a lengthy prison sentence.”
Commenting on Watkins‘ case, the lord justice said: “It is not demonstrated that the total sentence of 29 years together with the extended licence period was arguably manifestly excessive. Accordingly, the application in his case is refused.”
The 37-year-old musician was not in court, but his legal representative said that while his offenses were very serious, they were “not the worst that can happen.” She also argued that the sentence was “too high in the circumstances” and added that his guilty plea, which kept disturbing evidence from being shown in court, deserved consideration for a greater reduction.
“This case causes a very disturbing reaction for anyone who has anything to do with it,” Watkins‘ barrister, Sally O’Neill QC, told the court. “We accept these matters are very serious. But by pleading guilty my client averted the need for a most distressing and unpleasant trial for all those concerned, especially a jury.
“He did not have to plead guilty and if he had done so, the consequences would have been shocking.
“I am not trying to minimise the gravity of these offences, just simply make the observation that a sense of proportion needs to be maintained. These offenses, however bad, are not the worst.”
Watkins denied all the charges against him when he was arrested in December 2012 but eventually admitted to more than a dozen offenses that occurred over a period of five years, including attempting to rape one of the children and conspiring to rape the other.
A police investigation uncovered a huge cache of child abuse photos and films stored on Watkins‘ computers and online — almost five times the storage size of the South Wales Police force’s entire computer database.
Watkins must serve at least two-thirds of his jail time before being eligible for parole, followed by another six years of probation.
The judge in the case said it broke “new ground” and “plunged into new depths of depravity.”
He added that Watkins showed a “complete lack of remorse” and that what the women did in handing over their children to Watkins was “both sickening and incomprehensible.”
Watkins‘ defense attorney said that her client “belatedly realized the gravity of what happened” and was “deeply, deeply sorry.” The singer has maintained that he did not remember many of the incidents due to drug abuse.
LOSTPROPHETS released five albums and scored a No. 1 hit in 2004 with “Last Train Home”.