South Scotland

Fred Talbot jailed for four years for sex offences on school trips to Scotland

Fred Talbot Image copyright PA

Former TV weatherman Fred Talbot has been jailed for four years for historical sex offences against boys he took on school trips to Scotland.

Talbot, 67, was convicted at Lanark Sheriff Court of seven charges of indecent assault.

The offences, against boys aged 15 to 17, took place between 1978 and 1981.

They happened during separate trips to two locations - one near Moffat in southern Scotland, and one on the Caledonian Canal in Inverness.

The four-year sentence will start on 14 August, at the end of the punishment part of a five-year jail term Talbot is already serving for previous sex offences.

Sheriff Nikola Stewart said the former This Morning presenter had taken advantage of the innocence of his victims.

'Utterly unsuspecting'

She told Talbot the boys "all trusted and all liked you".

Sheriff Stewart added: "They were keen to go on the camping trips and sailing trips that you organised, both informally and as official school trips.

"That trust and affection was grossly abused by you on repeated occasions as you preyed upon these young boys - some away from home and away from parental care for the first time, and all utterly unsuspecting of the sexual threat you posed to them."

Talbot was a regular on the floating weather map in Liverpool's Albert Dock for ITV's This Morning show during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

At the time of the attacks, he was a biology teacher at a school in the Manchester area and took boys away on camping and boating trips.

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Media captionSheriff Nikola Stewart said Talbot had organised the trips to abuse the boys in his care

During the trial, a succession of witnesses, now men in their 50s who cannot be named for legal reasons, told how Talbot abused his position of trust.

One man told the court he was indecently assaulted as a teenage boy after a visit to a pub on a camping trip left him "very much the worse for wear".

A further witness said he was left "petrified" when Talbot indecently assaulted him on a trip to the Caledonian Canal in 1979.

Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown, 54, who was not an alleged victim, also gave evidence at the trial and said he had never forgotten the moment Talbot invited one of his young friends to sleep in his tent on a school camping trip.

Talbot was previously jailed for five years at Manchester Crown Court in 2015 for the indecent assault of two 14-year-old boys.

'Bravery of victims'

NSPCC Scotland described Talbot as "a prolific abuser who carried out a series of attacks on children in his care".

A spokesman for the charity said: "Thanks to the bravery of his victims, he has again been brought to justice.

"Abuse ruins childhoods. Talbot used his position of trust as a teacher to prey on his victims and the attacks he carried out will have had long-lasting effects on them into adulthood.

"We hope the sentence imposed on him will help his victims finally overcome what happened to them.

"This case shows once again how important it is that those who have suffered abuse are able to come forward and see justice done."

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