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Weatherman Talbot jailed for sex abuse of schoolboys

By Paul Ward

Former TV weatherman Fred Talbot has been jailed for four years for a string of sex offences against schoolboys on trips to Scotland more than three decades ago.

The 67-year-old indecently assaulted seven teenage boys in his care during camping and boating trips in the 1970s and 1980s while working as a biology teacher at a school in the Manchester area.

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 regularly appeared on a floating weather map in Liverpool's Albert Dock for ITV's This Morning show for several years, stood and nodded as Sheriff Nikola Stewart delivered her sentence yesterday afternoon.

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."

In mitigation, Talbot's defence lawyer Alan Gravelle said it was recognised there was no alternative to a prison sentence, but he asked the Sheriff to take into account his age and lack of offending over the last three decades.

The lawyer said: "His reputation is damaged beyond repair. With this second case in Scotland, my lady, his shame is now complete."

Sheriff Stewart said the pupils who 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.

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