TV weatherman Fred Talbot found guilty of indecently assaulting two schoolboys
TV weatherman Fred Talbot has been found guilty of indecently assaulting two schoolboys when he was a teacher.
Talbot, 65, a regular on the floating weather map in Liverpool's Albert Dock for ITV's top-rating This Morning show, was said by the prosecution to be "a chancer" who used his "boundless energy" and "extrovert personality" to gain the affection and trust of his victims.
The jury at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court cleared him of assaulting three boys but found him guilty of assaults on two boys.
Talbot was said to have been "obsessed" with teenage boys throughout his teaching career and "could not help himself" around them when under the influence of drink.
Talbot was remanded in custody and to be sentenced on March 13.
Judge Timothy Mort said he did not require pre-sentencing reports but told Talbot his sentence should start today bearing in mind his "abuse of trust".
Talbot was passive as the foreman read out the verdicts. He looked slightly surprised as he was told he was to be remanded in custody and nodded to the jurors before he left the dock.
Among the prosecution witnesses at the trial were The Stone Roses singer Ian Brown who said Talbot gave masturbation practice as homework.
Brown said he remembered two or three biology lessons given by Talbot when he was an 11-year-old boy.
The witness said: "Very early at school, I would not have been there a long time, Mr Talbot asked all the class if any of us had ever masturbated.
"He went on to explain how to masturbate, how you should masturbate and the following lesson he asked who had masturbated."
Brown said Talbot also showed a gay porn film in another class.
Prosecutor Neil Usher put it to the defendant that he was "a weak man who regularly drank too much".
This led to him being tempted by boys in his care and regularly trying it on with them, he said.
Mr Usher said Talbot's modus operandi was to first establish his "good guy credentials" and then to break down the proper teacher-pupil boundaries, leaving his victims confused as made his advances.
Four of the complainants were teenage pupils at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, where Talbot taught biology, while the other attended a high school in Gateshead when the defendant was at teacher training college.
The science teacher denied anything sexual or even inappropriate occurred between himself and the Altrincham pupils, while he said sexual activity with the Gateshead complainant only happened when the boy turned 16.
The court heard that Talbot's teaching career came to "an abrupt end" in May 1984 following an indecent proposal he made to two pupils at his home.
He offered his bed for the night to the 15-year-old boys and said to them: "Make sure you leave room for me in the middle".
Talbot kept quiet about why he resigned from Altrincham Grammar as his television career took off.
Talbot, of Bowdon, Greater Manchester, was convicted of two counts of indecent assault in relation to two complainants and cleared of eight counts of indecent assault in relation to three other complainants.
Following the verdicts, it can be reported that a number of similar complaints against Talbot about offences said to have been committed in Scotland have been passed by police to the Procurator Fiscal.