Popular former ITV weatherman Fred Talbot has been found guilty of indecent assault against a number of teenagers.
The 65 year-old was brought to justice for a series of offences which were committed against teenage boys during his tenure as a science teacher at Altrincham Grammar.
Several witnesses gave evidence in the week-long trial at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester City Centre including Stone Roses singer Ian Brown who was not a victim but remembered some of the inappropriate things Talbot often said during lessons.
The main undoing of him though were his diaries. A number of entries marked with asterisks were found alongside entries relating to the victims. During his interview Talbot told police they referred to panic attacks but later admitted it was a code denoting that sexual activity had taken place.
There were also entries containing suggestions of inappropriate behaviour. In one entry dated 6 May 1984, he wrote: ‘The fourth (year students) decided to stay the night. As usual I had quite a bit to drink and as usual I tried. I must be mad.’
On an entry dated 17 July 1981, he wrote: ‘Some thoughts on the two previous trips: you have messed it up. You have no right, you are in the wrong. Each individual has rights that can’t be infringed.’ Another entry reads: ‘What is more interesting than a smoking, swearing and copulating 15 year-old.’
Talbot left Altrincham Grammar in 1984, with many assuming he had done so to pursue a career in media.
It was only during the course of the investigation that detectives discovered that he had propositioned two astronomy pupils, aged 15, whom he had invited to his house to use his telescope. Talbot resigned in May 1984 after the boys’ parents reported this to the school.
Detective Constable Chris Doggart said: “Talbot was an extremely popular and well liked individual – both as a celebrity weatherman and formerly as a science teacher – who earned not only the trust and adulation of many of his peers and pupils, but also much of the nation.
“Now he has been exposed as an opportunistic sex offender and that reputation is rightly in tatters.
“Even when he was not committing offences against the two vulnerable young boys, his behaviour was wholly inappropriate and so far removed from his duty as a teacher to nurture and safeguard those under his care it really does defy belief.”
Talbot will be sentenced on 12 March.
TNT News Yasin Chinembiri