Fred Talbot ‘showed young boys gay porn film’

Stone Roses singer Ian Brown is driven away from court after giving evidence against his former teacher. Pictures: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Stone Roses singer Ian Brown is driven away from court after giving evidence against his former teacher. Pictures: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
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TV WEATHERMAN Fred Talbot gave masturbation practice as homework, Stone Roses singer Ian Brown has told a court.

Mr Brown, 51, who was taught biology by Talbot – a teacher before his TV career took off – told the jury the defendant showed his class a gay porn film in school.

Former Television weather presenter Fred Talbot arrives at Manchester's Minshull Street Court where he is standing trial charged with historical sexual offences. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 27, 2015. See PA story COURTS Talbot. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Former Television weather presenter Fred Talbot arrives at Manchester's Minshull Street Court where he is standing trial charged with historical sexual offences. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 27, 2015. See PA story COURTS Talbot. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Talbot, 65, of Bowdon, Greater Manchester, is on trial at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester. He denies ten offences of indecent assault on five boys while working as a teacher between the late 1960s and the early 1980s.

Yesterday Mr Brown, lead singer of Manchester band the Stone Roses, told the court he was a pupil of Talbot at Altrincham Grammar School from 1974 to 1979. Mr Brown said that in the 1970s the all-boys school was a violent place, with Talbot one of the few teachers who did not physically hurt pupils.

Mr Brown said he remembered “in particular” two or three biology lessons given by Talbot when he was 11.

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He said: “Very early at school, I would not have been there a long time, Mr Talbot asked all the class if any of us had ever masturbated. We were 11 years old at the time. He went on to explain how to masturbate, how you should masturbate and the following lesson he asked who had masturbated.”

Neil Usher, prosecuting, asked if there was any response from the boys. “Nervous giggles,” Mr Brown said. “He wanted to know who was successful in the masturbation. He asked boys to raise the hand.”

Mr Brown added that in further biology lessons, Talbot would approach the boys who had raised their hands and have “private words” with them, “murmuring” in their ears.

The singer said: “I can remember sitting there wondering, ‘What is he saying to them?’ They were all the same age but they were a foot bigger than us.”

Mr Brown then told of a second biology lesson with Talbot.

He said the class went to the science block but instead of the usual classroom, went into ­another with a projector set up to show the pupils a film. Mr Brown said: “A three-minute film on a Super 8 projector, of a guy walking into a room dressed in denims, sits on bed, takes trousers down and masturbates.

“The film was about three minutes long. It was only a few years later I realised it was probably a gay porn film. It wasn’t a sex education film. It was years later I realised it was wrong to show us that film.”

Mr Usher asked how old the witness was at the time.

He replied: “Around 11. About the time you would have had sex education in school.”

Much of Mr Brown’s other evidence cannot be reported for legal reasons.

There were fraught exchanges between the witness and ­Suzanne Goddard QC, defending Talbot, as she cross-examined him. Miss Goddard asked about biology classes and masturbation and suggested part of the defendant’s responsibility as a teacher was sex education.

“I doubt that’s on the curriculum,” Brown replied.

Miss Goddard then asked why he had not told his parents.

The witness said: “It was 1974. I was 11 and the teachers ruled with an iron rod. It would have been an embarrassment to tell my parents things like that.”

Miss Goddard suggested to him that once he knew the defendant was the subject of a police inquiry over alleged sexual offences, he may have looked back at the sex education classes in a different light.

He said: “Is that what you are suggesting? Suggest on.”

Miss Goddard then said that perhaps the witness had let his imagination “run away”.

Mr Brown replied: “You are the one getting paid to defend him. I have got better places to go. You are being paid to ask the questions, I’m not being paid by anybody.” The trial continues.