August 05, 2019
Jailed former Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins pulled a mobile phone from his anus following a strip search in prison, a court has heard.
Jailed Ex-Lostprophets Singer Ian Watkins Hid Mobile Phone In His Anus, Court Hears
Leeds Crown Court was told how 42-year-old Watkins had been searched in Wakefield Prison, West Yorkshire, after intelligence had been received that he was in possession of a phone.
The search took place on March 10 2018 but the prison officer who conducted the search in a sterile cell did not find anything, prosecutor Stephen Wood told a jury, and then left him on 15-minute watch.
Wood described how Watkins asked the officer if he would still be allowed to see his mother, who was travelling to visit him.
The prosecutor said: “He reached in his underwear towards his anus.
“After about 10 seconds the defendant produced a small white telephone.
“You will understand that this must have been inserted into his anus.”
Wood said a small charger was later found in Watkins’s cell.
The jury of nine men and three women was given the 8cm long GT-Star phone to look at in a protective bag after they were reassured by Judge Rodney Jameson that it was “well packaged”.
Watkins sat in the dock as Wood began his opening statement, flanked by three prison officers.
He was wearing a blue denim jacket with a white trimmed collar over a white t-shirt and sporting swept back, collar length dark hair.
Watkins was wearing earrings and an inverted crucifix necklace. He denies one charge of possession of a mobile phone in a prison.Wood said that Watkins told police “he was being forced to hold onto the phone by other prisoners”.
The prosecutor said: “He said his life had been threatened. He told police he had been threatened with being slashed.”
He said that Watkins described those he said threatened him as “serious guys” and said the mobile was a “wing phone”.
According to Wood, Watkins told police that other inmates wanted him to call “his groupies” and get them to send money.
He said that Watkins said in interview he was “really fucking scared”.
But Wood said the prosecution case was that Watkins was not acting under duress.
He said the phone had been used to contact a woman called Gabriella Persson. The prosecutor said it was this woman who told the prison about the defendant’s phone.
Giving evidence from behind a screen, Persson said she had known Watkins from when she was 19, when she had been a fan of Lostprophets.
She confirmed she had been in a relationship with Watkins but stopped contacting him in 2012.
Persson said she began communicating with the defendant again in 2016 through letters, phone calls and via legitimate prison emails.
The witness confirmed she was aware he had been jailed for sexual offences.
She then told the jury how she received a text in March 2018 from a number she did not recognise which just said: “Hi Gabriella-ella,-ella-eh-eh-eh”
The witnesses confirmed this was a reference to the Rhianna hit Umbrella and said that was something Watkins had done before.
Persson said that when she asked who was messaging her, she got the reply: “It’s the devil on your shoulder.”
She said the next message said “I’m trusting you massively with this” and told the jury: “At that point I realised it could be him.”
Persson said she then spoke to Watkins using the phone number to make sure it was him.
Under cross-examination from Gareth Burrows, defending, the witness said there had been only two voice calls using that phone and denied that there had been 12 conversations.
She also denied speaking to anyone else using that number.
She said none of the messages were about money and Watkins was not threatening.
Persson said she deleted all the text messages because she was scared she would get into trouble.
The trial was adjourned until Tuesday and Watkins, who was wearing a Star Wars t-shirt under his jacket, left with the officers.
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