Talbot to be sentenced for assaults

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Published: Friday 13th March 2015 by The News Editor

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TV weatherman Fred Talbot will be sentenced today for indecently assaulting two schoolboys when he was a teacher.

Talbot, 65, a regular on the floating weather map in Liverpool’s Albert Dock for ITV’s top-rating This Morning show, was said by the prosecution at this trial last month to be “a chancer” who used his “boundless energy” and “extrovert personality” to gain the affection and trust of his victims.

A jury at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court last month cleared him of assaulting three boys but found him guilty of assaults on two boys.

Talbot was said to have been “obsessed” with teenage boys throughout his teaching career and “could not help himself” around them when under the influence of drink.

Among the prosecution witnesses at the trial were The Stone Roses singer Ian Brown who said Talbot gave masturbation practice as homework.

Brown said he remembered two or three biology lessons given by Talbot when he was an 11-year-old boy.

Prosecutors said Talbot’s modus operandi was to first establish his “good guy credentials” and then to break down the proper teacher-pupil boundaries, leaving his victims confused as he made his advances.

Four of the complainants were teenage pupils at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, where Talbot taught biology, while the other attended a high school in Gateshead when the defendant was at teacher training college.

The science teacher denied anything sexual or even inappropriate occurred between himself and the Altrincham pupils, while he said sexual activity with the Gateshead complainant only happened when the boy turned 16.

The court heard that Talbot’s teaching career came to “an abrupt end” in May 1984 following an indecent proposal he made to two pupils at his home.

He offered his bed for the night to the 15-year-old boys and said to them: “Make sure you leave room for me in the middle”.

He kept quiet about why he resigned from Altrincham Grammar as his television career took off.

Talbot, of Bowdon, Greater Manchester, was convicted of two counts of indecent assault in relation to two complainants and cleared of eight counts of indecent assault in relation to three other complainants.

Following the verdicts, it could be reported that a number of similar complaints against Talbot about offences said to have been committed in Scotland have been passed by police to the Procurator Fiscal.

Edinburgh-born Talbot moved at the age of seven to Sale, Greater Manchester, and later studied A-levels at Sale Grammar School.

After a spell at teacher training college in the Newcastle area he joined Altrincham Grammar School in 1974.

He resigned in disgrace in 1984 over the comments made to the two 15-year-old pupils and shortly after went into television, with one of his first jobs on a Saturday morning children’s show.

The investigation was triggered in December 2012 following publicity into a separate historic abuse inquiry at another Altrincham school, St Ambrose College, which led to a nine-year jail term for ex-teacher Alan Morris.

Talbot will be sentenced at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court by Judge Timothy Mort.

Published: Friday 13th March 2015 by The News Editor

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