A man who abused two young boys while working as a science teacher has been brought to justice after several decades.
The secret past of popular weatherman Fred Talbot
(17/12/1949), of Langham Road, Bowden can be revealed after a jury found him guilty of two counts of indecent assault against two victims who were abused during their adolescent years.
He will be sentenced on 12 March 2015.
The offences relate to his time as a science teacher – which preceded his stint as a celebrity weatherman.
In 1974 Talbot became a teacher at Altrincham Grammar.
Sometime in the mid-70s when the victim was 14 or 15, he went on a school trip on a canal boat under Talbot’s supervision. The boy was made to share a bed with Talbot, who indecently assaulted him.
In 1992 he reported what had happened to police. Talbot was interviewed and denied the offence. Due to a lack of any corroborative evidence no further action was taken against Talbot.
In 1997 another victim, who was 14 or 15 at the time, went on a school trip on a canal barge and one evening Talbot got into the boy’s bed naked and sexually assaulted him.
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 left Altrincham Grammar in 1984, with many assuming he had done so to pursue a career in the media.
It was only during the course of the investigation that detectives discovered he 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.
Talbot is a prolific diary writer and dozens of books covering most of his life were recovered when police raided his home. A number of diary entries marked with asterisks were found alongside entries relating to the victims. On interview he told police they referred to panic attacks but later admitted it was a code denoting that sexual activity having taken place.
There were also entries highly suggestive 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.’
DC Doggart added: “Talbot is a prolific diary writer and we found many entries with asterisks or other symbols against them and, while he lied during his police interview, he later admitted they referred to sexual activity with people, including his two victims.
“By not acknowledging what he has done he has forced them to once again relive their ordeals in court and I hope they are sufficiently satisfied that their bravery has resulted in his convictions.”