Paedophile Ian Watkins, a former member of the Lostprophets, could have been caught for his vile acts three years earlier if an ‘overworked’ detective hadn’t failed to investigate complaints.
Detective Sergeant Andrew Whelan failed to investigate Crimestoppers and witness complaints about Watkins in 2010, but Whelan has been cleared of misconduct.
Watkins was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 after admitting to a string of horrifying child sex offences.
Whelan was accused of failing to act on information about Watkins submitted to Crimestoppers three times between March and October 2010.
One complaint that he failed to react to was from an unnamed member of the public who reported that Watkins had ‘child pornography on his computer and that he fantasised about abusing children’.
Jonathon Walters, for South Wales Police, told the tribunal:
You failed to take any action in relation to those logs.
Det Sgt Whelan was described as an ‘exemplary officer’ who was dedicated to his duty in an ‘unblemished’ career of 25 years, explaining that he was ‘frequently working 18 hour days’.
In 2013, 39-year-old Watkins shocked the world by pleading guilty to 13 charges of sexually abusing children, including the attempted rape of a baby.