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Fred Talbot guilty of school trip sex assaults.

Byline: HILARY DUNCANSON Daily Post Correspondent

FORMER TV weatherman Fred Talbot has been convicted of a string of sex offences against schoolboys he took on trips to Scotland more than 35 years ago.

The predator, now 67, abused his position of trust to indecently assault seven teenage boys in his care during camping and boating trips in the 1970s and 1980s while he was a biology teacher at a school in the Manchester area.

Talbot, of Greater Manchester, had denied the allegations, making his victims give evidence during a nine-day trial at Lanark Sheriff Court.

The jury took four hours over two days to convict the former television personality of seven of the nine historical abuse charges against him.

Once the verdicts were delivered, they were told that Talbot is already serving a five-year sentence imposed in Manchester in 2015 for indecently assaulting two other schoolboys.

Sheriff Nikola Stewart will sentence him on the fresh convictions in three weeks' time.

Talbot, who used to be a regular on the floating weather map in Liverpool's Albert Dock for ITV's This Morning show, sat impassively as the verdicts were delivered.

It followed days of "overwhelming and compelling" evidence against Talbot, including from Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown and a witness appearing over a video link from Australia.

The offences, against boys aged 15 to 17, took place between 1978 and 1981, and happened during separate trips to two locations in Scotland - near the St Mary's Loch area in Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway, and the Caledonian Canal in Inverness in the Highlands.

The court heard of similarities between some of the attacks - they could be at night, when a victim was isolated and after they had consumed alcohol.

One man told how he was indecently assaulted as a teenager after a visit to the pub saw him consume eight pints and whisky.

A witness in Australia recounted how he awoke in his tent to find Talbot making a sexual advance on him.

Singer Brown, 54, not an alleged victim, told the trial Talbot would regularly talk about trips during class but would only invite certain people to go on the excursions.

Talbot was cleared of two charges - of indecent assault and lewd, indecent and libidinous practices - on not proven verdicts.

In 2015, Talbot was convicted at Manchester Crown Court indecent assaults on two pupils from the same school and he was jailed for five years.

Those assaults took place on school canal barge trips in the Cheshire area in the mid-1970s.

Following the new verdicts, senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Bryan Lee, of Police Scotland, said: "Fred Talbot is a sexual predator who used his position as a teacher engineer situations which allowed him to isolate and target his victims."

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 26, 2017

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