Fred Talbot sex trial: The ‘staged orgy’

Fred Talbot, the former TV weatherman, is accused of indecently assaulting five teenage boys between 1969 and 1984.

Mr Talbot, 65, denies the 10 counts of indecent assault in the allegations.

He is on trial in Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court where the second out of five accusers stood in the witness box today.

The defendant was a former teacher at Altrincham grammar school for boys in the 1970s, a jury was told. “He was young, friendly, casual in manner and talked about sex a lot compared to other teachers”, the witness said. Mr Talbot organised canal trips for the school, the complainant commented. “I went on one. I believe I was 14 at the time”.

The court was told that Mr Talbot, two other friends – one biker nicknamed Spider – and older boys returned to the boat from a pub nearby “quite drunk”; having left the young boys unsupervised on the boat. “They brought back beer. I can’t remember who passed it. We got very drunk”, the witness told the jury.

The ‘staged orgy’

“Someone (Mr Talbot) said let’s pretend we got some girls and have an orgy”, the witness said. He further describes how the ten boys on the boat were told they needed to take some photographs, and to pretend there were some girls on the boat. “It was fun. We were drunk. We took off our clothes. It was warm. The heating was turned on. I think it was a paraffin heater. One boy would lie on top of another and would pretend the one underneath was a girl”, the complainant said.

When asked who had instructed them to do so, the witness said “Mr Talbot. He was in charge and told us what to do. In those days, we just did as we were told”. The alleged victim later said “Mr Talbot took some photographs of us”. The ex-teacher is also said to have stripped naked and rolled around the barge in the ‘staged orgy’ which lasted for “about 90 minutes to 2 hours”. When asked by Mr Talbot’s defence Miss Suzanne Goddard, why he didn’t mention Mr Talbot stripping naked and taking part in the staged orgy in his first complaint to the police, the witness said, “I didn’t think it was important”.

The jury later heard from the alleged victim that Mr Talbot told him there weren’t enough beds in the boat so he would have to share a bed with him. “I just said yes. We both went to bed naked.” After describing the alleged sexual assault in detail, he then said Mr Talbot told him, “This is natural. This is how men touch other men.” The following morning the alleged victim said Mr Talbot told him, “This is our secret. He told me I should never tell anyone of the bed incident nor the photo [staged orgy]”.

The report and the exaggeration

“It was my responsibility to call the police. This person was at large. I thought it [the alleged sexual assault] was not right”, the witness replied upon being asked why he contacted Cheshire police in 1992. The complainant was then told by the police that there was “insufficient evidence to pursue the case further”, to which he said, “I was upset”.

In his statement to the police, the alleged victim admitted to lying to the police by exaggerating the extent of the alleged sexual abuse from Mr Talbot. When asked by the prosecutor Neil Usher why he lied, the witness replied, “I was angry that the prosecution was not going ahead. It was a stupid thing to do”.

The alleged victim made four complaints to the police about Mr Talbot; in 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2000. The court heard how some months after submitting it, the witness withdrew his exaggeration from the police and apologised for it. Miss Goddard then said to the witness that “Your recollections have not been reliable and you are someone who has been prepared to tell lies throughout the course of this trial”. “I told one lie but apologised for it”, the witness responded.

When asked if his complaints have a financial motive, the complainant said, “No”.

The third witness of the trial is due in court tomorrow, where Fred Talbot – from Bowdon Greater Manchester – will return again for the resumption of his trial.

 

TNT News Yasin Chinembiri

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