Fred Talbot sexual abuse in Scotland investigated

Ex-TV weatherman Talbot arrives at court, where he was convicted of indecent assault. Picture: Getty

Ex-TV weatherman Talbot arrives at court, where he was convicted of indecent assault. Picture: Getty

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Police have been investigating allegations involving offences said to have been committed in Scotland by former TV weatherman Fred Talbot.

Talbot, who was born in Edinburgh, was found guilty in Manchester yesterday of two indecent assaults on teenage boys.

The victims had been pupils at a grammar school where Talbot was a teacher in the 1970s.

Police Scotland yesterday confirmed that it has been examining claims Talbot committed similar offences in Scotland.

The Crown Office has not received a full prosecution report.

Talbot was yesterday remanded in custody shortly after a jury found him guilty of indecently assaulting two pupils at the Altrincham Grammar School for Boys in the mid-1970s during his former career as a biology teacher.

Talbot, 65, had resigned in disgrace from the school in 1984 after making indecent comments to two 15-year-old pupils but hid the indiscretion when his big TV break came a year later.

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He continued to cover his tracks when police first investigated him in 1992 and lied again to detectives in the current investigation when they uncovered a host of diaries which were littered with references to sexual encounters.

Talbot looked surprised as Judge Timothy Mort told him his sentence would start immediately but politely nodded to the jury of nine women and three men at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court as he left the dock. He will be sentenced next month but is also the subject of a historical abuse inquiry by police into complaints of offences said to have been committed in Scotland. It is understood the procurator fiscal is aware.

The jury in Manchester heard that 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.

Prosecutor Neil Usher said he was “a weak and selfish man who regularly drank too much” and this led to temptation when boys were in his care.

Both of Talbot’s victims, said to be 14 or 15 at the time, were assaulted on school trips on a canal barge in the Cheshire area in the mid-1970s.

Each boy was told they had to share a bed with Talbot because there were not enough single bunk beds and each was then abused by him as they slept in a partitioned area.

One of them said he was drunk when he took part in a mock naked “orgy” staged by Talbot and involving up to 10 other boys on the barge, in which some of the youngsters pretended to be girls.

Among the prosecution witnesses at the four-week trial were 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.

The witness 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.

“He went on to explain how to masturbate, how you should masturbate and the following lesson he asked who had masturbated.”

Brown said Talbot also showed a gay porn film in another class.

The court heard that Talbot’s teaching career came to a swift 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.”

Talbot, who denied 10 counts of indecent assault, will be sentenced on 13 March.

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