The trial of ex TV weatherman Fred Talbot entered its second week today. More witnesses gave their evidence in court where Mr Talbot, 65, sat in the dock watching and listening to it all. The jury heard that Mr Talbot approached one of his pupils in his cellar and said to him, “You know what I want to do with you, don’t you?”
Mr Talbot had previously told the witness, then aged 15, of his bisexuality, and if he “ever wanted to be with another boy, I’d be happy to oblige”. The witness told the jury that he denied the proposal. Mr Talbot, former biology teacher, also told the teenager that “it [sex] is better with a boy rather than with a girl, because it would be just straight up sex. There would be no external romantic involvement”, the witness said.
The former teacher from Bowdon, Greater Manchester, denies all 10 counts of indecent assault. He is alleged to have sexually abused five boys between 1968 and 1984.
The witness, who attended Altrincham Grammar School from 1972 to 1977, told the court that, “Mr Talbot was seen as one of the boys” because he was relaxed and friendly unlike the rest of the other teachers in the school. “He would join us in the pub and buy rounds as all of us did”.
Although the witness is not an alleged victim of sexual assault, he told the court that he twice declined invitations from Mr Talbot to his house after drinking at the pub. “He said he had some booze and ‘dope’, his word not mine, and he suggested I should tell my parents that I had gone to Mr Talbot’s house to use his telescope to observe meteorites”, the witness said.
However, the witness did once go to Mr Talbot’s house when he was 16, “only because he [Talbot] had offered to record a band of 3 or 4 members I was involved with at the time”, the witness told the jury. “We loaded our equipment into his cellar and started making a terrible noise [playing music] and he recorded us”.
The witness found himself alone with Mr Talbot after the other teenage boys had been sent on errands or just left the cellar. “I was sitting with my guitar in my lap. The he said, ‘before we go any further, you know what I want to do with you, don’t you?” the witness said.
Mr Talbot began walking across the room towards the teenager, and then the teenager shouted “No”, the court heard. “I was panicking but was preparing for a battle”, the witness added.
The former teacher then said to the boy, “This will only take 5 minutes”, the jury heard. The witness told the court how Mr Talbot began walking towards him again. The witness recalled how he “ran towards him, with my guitar facing him. I shouted no and blurted ‘I have a girlfriend’ then he stopped”.
“Error of judgement”
The witness added that Mr Talbot then said a line that will stay with him for the rest of his life, which was “Fine, we’ll just carry on with this then”.
When asked why he didn’t tell anyone about the incident until many years later, the witness replied, “It was a taboo subject. If I told my parents, they would have stopped me going to the pub. I couldn’t discuss with the police because no crime had been committed. I was left in a dreadful position”.
In response to whether he has any ill will towards Mr Talbot over this incident, the witness said, “No. No harm was done. It was an error of judgement on his [Talbot] part. I have forgiven him in my mind”.
The defence QC, Suzanne Goddard then suggested to the witness that the passage of time has coloured his memory. She further concluded that although Mr Talbot recalls living in a house with a cellar he has no recollection of a band ever coming to his house.
The witness replied, “No. I remember it vividly”.
Fred Talbot’s sex trial continues.
TNT News Yasin Chinembiri