Ian Watkins has been sentenced to 29 years in prison. Watkins pled guilty to 13 child sex charges in November, preventing the need for a trial. At his sentencing today, the court heard that following his plea he telephoned a friend to discuss his crimes. In the transcript Watkins is reported to have said, "I’m going to put a statement on the eighteenth now just to say it was 'mega lolz', I don’t know what everyone is getting so freaked out about." This chilling comment, in conjunction with the gravity of the charges and magnitude of evidence against Ian Watkins meant that the judge was unwilling to mitigate his sentence in spite of his guilty plea, saying Watkins had shown "almost no remorse" since his arrest.
This isn’t the first time Watkins has used the phrase “MEGA LOLZ!!!!”. It became the catchphrase of his band the Lostprophets in their latter years. The phrase appears to originate from the forum punktastic.com, when one user used it in a post and it took off.
A member of Lostprophets supposedly saw the post and decided it would make for a good catchphrase. They created a line of merchandise that included the slogan and sold it from their official website.
Watkins, who used to be a graphic designer, took credit for the design and, off the back of the T-shirt's success, started his own clothing line, Made In Hell clothing. He said he was inspired by "mostly street, urban stuff like Banksy and Micallef."
By 2010, the Mega Lolz !!! brand had become shorthand for Lost Prophets themselves. It became their backdrop for live performances, most famously in 2010 when they played the mainstage of Reading and Leeds festivals.
There was also a Lost Prophets fansite megalolz.com (it has since been taken down), which held an extensive archive of the band's press appearances.
It remains to be seen whether the sullying revelation banishes is it from everyday usage and whether Amazon and others will continue to sell the Mega Lolz merchandise.