‘I went through hell because police couldn’t be a***d to do their jobs’: Ex-girlfriend of Ian Watkins hits out as she is cleared of child porn offences after court hears she was trying to ENTRAP singer but detectives ignored her warnings
- Joanne Mjadzelics, 39, was accused of possessing child porn images
- A jury found her not guilty of the charges at Cardiff Crown Court
- She claims her repeat warnings about Ian Watkins were ignored by police
- ‘How many kids could have been saved if the police had done their job,’ she said outside court
- Claimed that officer ‘couldn’t be a***d’ to investigate Watkins’ vile crimes
- Mjadzelics says she was trying to entrap Watkins, who has since been jailed for abusing children
- She wept after the verdict and hit out at the police for pursuing her
By HUGO GYE FOR MAILONLINE
Cleared: Joanne Mjadzelics, the ex-girlfriend of Ian Watkins was found not guilty of child porn charges
The ex-girlfriend of paedophile rock star Ian Watkins blasted police for ignoring her repeat warnings about the star, as she was cleared of a string of child pornography charges.
Joanna Mjadzelics said she ‘went through hell’ after she was forced to take action herself because officers ‘couldn’t be a***d’ to investigate Watkins.
She had been accused of possessing indecent images of a child, sending vile pictures to the singer and demanding that he send her illegal pornography.
But following a trial at Cardiff Crown Court, a jury found the 39-year-old not guilty on all charges after she claimed she was trying to entrap her former lover and trick him into revealing his crimes.
‘It’s been me against the world, really,’ she said as she walked free from court.
‘Me protecting the kids when everyone else called me liar, psycho – everything else – lie after lie.
‘Let’s just see how many kids could have been saved if the police had done their job. I’ve nothing to say to the police. This was a vicious prosecution.’
Watkins, 37, is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence for sex offences including the attempted rape of a fan’s baby. Two women were jailed alongside him for assisting his crimes.
Ms Mjadzelics, from Doncaster, told the jury during her trial that she reported Watkins to the police, but they ignored her because she was a prostitute who was regarded as a ‘nut job’.
She insisted that she only engaged in lurid sexual conversations with the shamed star in a bid to collect evidence which would bring Watkins to justice.
The prosecution had claimed that she was obsessed with the singer, and would do anything to fuel his desires.
The court heard police seized the rock star’s computers and video tapes when he was arrested and discovered one titled ‘Jo Paedo Talk Cardiff’.
When they played the video they saw Watkins and Mjadzelics having sex and talking about having a baby together so they could abuse it, the court heard.
‘He had told me what to say,’ she told Channel 4 News after she was cleared.
‘He said talk about this, talk about that, tell me you’re going to kidnap children and I would just agree. At that point I was so totally in love with this guy but at the same time so confused.
‘I realised afterwards when I stopped taking cocaine and I sobered up, I realised afterwards everything that had been talked about and I thought no that’s wrong, that’s wrong.
‘I thought it was just coke talk. I thought that’s all it was. I thought that was just coke talking and I was just saying that to get him off.
‘Sounds really pathetic when I say it now but it was at the time to keep him interested. It sounds really ridiculous.’
The jury took 14 hours of deliberations to reach their not guilty verdict.
Ms Mjadzelics wept when judge Eleri Rees told her she was free to go, and said afterwards: ‘I shouldn’t have even been here – just for doing the the police’s job that they couldn’t be a***d to do.’
Her solicitor Dale Harris said: ‘This was a spiteful prosecution of a woman who, over a four-year period, single-handedly and doggedly pursued a campaign to force the sleeping authorities to wake up to the reality of the appalling crimes against children she feared Ian Watkins was committing.
‘In December 2008, Ms Mjadzelics first reported Watkins to both South Wales Police and to social services.
‘But instead of taking her claims seriously, the police rejected them and dismissed her allegations as those of a disguntled ex-partner with mental health issues.
‘The initial flawed inquiry infected every subsequent report she made to the police.’
Vindicated: Ms Mjadzelics said after her acquittal that the police had been ‘vicious’ in their treatment of her
He drew attention to the ‘actions and inactions’ of the police and other authorities, saying: ‘As the court heard, in private, the police thanked her for bringing Watkins and his accomplices to justice.
‘In public, however, they shunned her and, instead, they prosecuted for the efforts she made to ensnare him.
‘It will be for others to judge whether children could have been spared the horrific abuse to which they were undoubtedly subjected had the police taken seriously the concerns of Miss Mjadzelics some six years ago.’
The defendant said during her trial that she had risked jail to expose Watkins, and continued to sleep with him in order to gather more evidence for the police.
The court heard that she reported Watkins to the authorities in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012 to raise the alarm over his child sex crimes.
She told police he had sent her images of a ‘very young girl being raped’, but they refused to examine her phone or computer.
Michael Wolkind QC, defending, told jurors that police chose not to investigate the allegations against Watkins because he was a famous musician.
‘Babies could have been saved if Joanne had been taken seriously but Watkins was a famous rock star so it was different,’ he said.
‘She wasn’t believed and it wasn’t properly investigated. What was she supposed to do?
‘If she had not kept on seeing Watkins would he and the two mothers be locked up now? No. She desperately played along with Watkins to track him.’
She said: ‘He said talk about this, talk about that, tell me you’re going to kidnap children and I would just agree. At that point I was so totally in love with this guy but at the same time so confused.’
Ms Mjadzelics even wrote to Watkins’ mother warning her that her son was a paedophile, but ended up being accused of harassing his family and questioned by police in 2009.
When the pair next met in 2010, at a hotel in Leeds, Watkins opened his laptop and showed her a video of a ‘child crying and being raped’ while he had an ‘evil smirk’ on his face, the court was told.
She then decided she would have to trap the singer on her own and gather evidence against him.
She said: ‘We contacted each other again in May 2011 and by that time I had decided it was no good crying and sending him away anymore.
‘I had to basically change the game and change my reaction and play him. I went into escort mode, like with my clients, and I switched off.’
Jailed: Watkins, the former lead singer of Lostprophets, is serving a 35-year prison sentence for child abuse
The court was read a series of graphic and disturbing messages exchanged by the pair that month, in which they fantasised about kidnapping and raping infants, while Watkins sent Ms Mjadzelics four pornographic images of children.
Despite having apparently been praised by the police for her actions, Ms Mjadzelics was arrested two years ago, and charged shortly after Watkins and his two accomplices pleaded guilty and were jailed in December 2013.
The Crown Prosecution Service defended the decision to pursue the case against Mjadzelics, while South Wales Police described the investigation as ‘extremely challenging and complex’.
Catrin Attwell of the CPS said: ‘The full circumstances surrounding this case have been aired in court.
‘The jury considered the matter for a considerable period of time and found Joanne Mjadzelics not guilty of the possession and distribution of indecent images of children. We of course respect that decision.
‘Our role is to consider the evidence gathered by police investigations and decide whether there is a realistic prospect of a conviction in court.’
Deputy Chief Constable Matt Jukes added: ‘Operation Globe is still continuing and we will work tirelessly to identify victims and help them seek the justice they deserve.
‘During the trial, police actions prior to the most recent investigation were discussed. In 2012 South Wales Police initiated its own review into the sequence of events prior to the arrest of Ian Watkins.
‘We identified that there were issues of concern and voluntarily referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who is currently carrying out an investigation into these issues.’
The IPCC is investigating claims that officers from three different police forces failed to act on information about Watkins’ crimes.
Ms Mjadzelics told Channel 4 News of the disgraced Lost Prophets singer, ‘He had told me what to say.’
HOW PAEDOPHILE STAR’S GIRLFRIEND DISCOVERED HIS VILE DOUBLE LIFE
Late 2006: Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins meets Joanne Mjadzelics online. After weeks of online sex chats, Watkins and Mjadzelics meet in person for the first time in December. They meet up for sex at a hotel in Leeds where they make a sex tape together.
July 2007: Mjadzelics says she starts ‘getting into’ cocaine, with her and Watkins having drug-fuelled sex sessions together. She later has the rock singer’s initials – IDKW – tattooed on her back.
August 2007: Mjadzelics says Watkins tells her about a sex session he had with a 14-year-old girl. Asked why she did not go to the police there and then about his confession, she said: ‘I thought it was the cocaine talking.’
September 2007: Watkins tells Mjadzelics he raped a 12-year-old girl after taking cocaine in the toilet with her. He later tells her he was only ‘joking’.
February 2008: Tape of Watkins and Mjadzelics depicts the pair having sex and talking about having a child together so they could rape and kill it. When questioned about the video, Mjadzelics says: ‘It’s fantasy talk.’
Early 2008: Mjadzelics says she and Watkins split. She blames an indecent photograph of a child which he had sent her on Christmas Day.
June 2008: Watkins takes Mjadzelics to meet his mother in Pontypridd. The pair stay at the St David’s Hotel in Cardiff.
October 2008: Mjadzelics agrees to sign a ‘gagging order’ drawn up by Watkins after she threatened to go to the police.
December 2008: Mjadzelics phones social services in south Wales regarding a photograph he sent the previous Christmas.
January 2009: Mjadzelics contacts social services again, as well as police about Watkins.
March 2009: Police in Yorkshire interview Mjadzelics at the request of South Wales Police.
May 2009: The police investigation into Mjadzelics’s initial claims about Watkins ends. She claimed she was turned away because officers regarded her as a ‘nut job’ fan who was harassing a famous rock star.
August 2010: After around a year without speaking to one another, Mjadzelics and Watkins meet up for sex. Mjadzelics apologises to Watkins, claiming that she ‘must have got things so wrong’. Two weeks later, Mjadzelics says Watkins shows her a video of a child being sexually abused. She says she goes to police again, and claims nothing was done.
May 2011: After becoming estranged from one another again, Mjadzelics resumes contact with Watkins. She says she did so to try to catch Watkins out – and aimed to get evidence on him. The pair resume their sexual relationship. Watkins sends four indecent images to Mjadzelics.
May 2011: Mjadzelics sends an email to the Association of Chief Police Officers saying Watkins is raping a child on a ‘regular basis’. In her correspondence, she says: ‘I’ve gained his trust again by agreeing to a lot of disgusting things to get whatever is needed to bring him to justice.’
February 2012: Mjadzelics says she contacts the father of a child she fears Watkins was abusing.
March 2012: Mjadzelics says she contacts South Wales Police regarding a chat she had with Watkins on Skype. Mjadzelics attends Doncaster police station with her laptop.
April 2012: Watkins and a female fan, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sexually abuse her son at a London hotel.
May 2012: Over three months, South Yorkshire Police is contacted three times over allegations that Watkins is abusing a child.
August 2012: Watkins’s home is raided by police. One of the singer’s laptops is seized by detectives.
October 2012: Bedfordshire Police is contacted about allegations, supposedly made by Mjadzelics, that Watkins is planning to abuse another fan’s baby. Watkins is later interviewed and bailed by police.
November 2012: Mjadzelics is interviewed as a witness by officers from Operation Globe.
December 2012: Watkins is again arrested and charged by police. He appears before Cardiff Magistrates’ Court along with two female accomplices.
January 2013: Mjadzelics arrested and questioned.
November/December 2013: Watkins pleads guilty to a string of sex offences – including engaging in sexual activity with a child, the attempted rape of a fan’s baby and possessing, making and distributing indecent images. He is given a 29-year jail term, with a further six years on licence. His two female accomplices also plead guilty and receive prison terms.
May 2014: The Independent Police Complaints Commission confirms it is investigating claims of gross misconduct regarding three South Yorkshire Police officers, two detectives from the Bedfordshire force and one from South Wales into their handling of reports made to them about Watkins.
January 2015: Mjadzelics goes on trial at Cardiff Crown Court, but is cleared.