Lostprophets formed in 1997 and released their fifth album in 2012
Lostprophets formed in 1997 and released their fifth album in 2012

The lead singer of the Welsh rock Lostprophets has pleaded not guilty to 23 sex offences involving children, including two charges of raping a baby.

Ian Watkins, 35, from Pontypridd, appeared at Cardiff Crown Court via video link to face a string of sex allegations, including two counts of rape of a child under 12 months old, one count of sexual assault of the same child and one count of conspiracy to rape a second baby.

The frontman also pleaded not guilty to allegations of taking, possessing and making of indecent images of children.

Watkins pleaded not guilty to a 24th charge of possession of extreme animal pornography. The charges are alleged to have taken place between March 2007 and December 2012.

He appeared in court along with two other suspects: a 20-year-old and a 24-year-old woman who cannot be named for legal reasons. Both denied charges of indecent assault against children.

His solicitor read a statement on his behalf outside the court. It read: "I want to thank my family, friends and all the fans for their continued support throughout this whole ordeal.

"Your support gives me strength. I deny all the allegations against me and I will fight to the end to clear my name."

A trial date will be set on 6 June.

Lostprophets was formed in 1997 and have sold more than 3.5 million albums worldwide.

The band's fifth album, Weapons, was released in 2012.

Following his arrest, the band said they were in a "state of shock".