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venerdì 16 giugno 2017

TV weatherman jailed for child sexual abuse

Former Granada TV weatherman Fred Talbot has been jailed for four years for a string of sex offences against schoolboys on trips to Scotland in the 197-s and 1980s.

The 67-year-old indecently assaulted seven teenage boys in his care during camping and boating trips while working as a biology teacher at a school in Manchester .
He is already serving a five-year sentence imposed in Manchester in 2015 for indecently assaulting two other schoolboys.
During a nine-day trial at Lanark Sheriff Court last month, Talbot denied the allegations.
But a jury took four hours to convict him of seven of the nine historical abuse charges against him.
The four-year sentence is due to start from August, at the end of the punishment part of his current jail term.
The television personality, who was Granada's regional weatherman and regularly appeared on a floating weather map in Liverpool's Albert Dock for ITV's This Morning show, stood and nodded as Sheriff Nikola Stewart delivered her sentence on Thursday.
She said he "grossly abused the trust" placed in him as a teacher with "systematic" abuse of schoolboys.
"It is beyond doubt these trips were organised with sexual exploitation of these boys very much in mind," Sheriff Stewart said.
"By denying your guilt and insisting on a trial, you put each victim through further trauma."
Sheriff Stewart said the pupils that went on trips organised by Talbot had all trusted and liked the teacher.
"They were all utterly unsuspecting of the sexual threat you posed," she told the former weatherman.
Sheriff Stewart said he had "utter disregard" for his duties as a teacher and the boys he preyed on were "too embarrassed and disempowered" to report his "disgraceful behaviour".
Dressed in a grey shirt and striped tie, Talbot was led down from the dock before being transported back to prison.
Fraser Gibson, procurator fiscal for South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway, said: "Fred Talbot was in a position of trust and abused that to prey on vulnerable boys. For over 10 years he may well have thought that he had escaped justice but he was wrong and thanks to the courage of his victims in coming forward to report what happened to them is now paying the consequences for his actions.
"I would urge any victims of sexual crimes, even ones which occurred decades ago, to come forward and report them. They will be treated with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity by the police and our expert prosecutors and we will do all we can to deliver justice."
The offences, against boys aged 15 to 17, took place between 1978 and 1981 during separate trips near the St Mary's Loch area in Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway, and the Caledonian Canal, near Inverness in the Highlands.
A series of witnesses, now men aged in their 50s who cannot be named for legal reasons, told of their excitement at going on the excursions - sometimes the first time away from their parents.
Many of them recalled how Talbot used his position to engineer situations to target those he should have been looking after.
The court heard the attacks could be at night when a victim was isolated or after they had consumed alcohol.
His conviction 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.
One man told of his "horror" when he awoke - after being "singled out" to go to the pub - to find Talbot touching him in a tent while partially-clothed.
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 of indecent assaults on two pupils from the same school and he was jailed for five years.
Those assaults happened on school canal barge trips in the Cheshire area in the mid-1970s.

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