Police, Fire & Court

Fred Talbot handed four-year jail sentence for abusing boys on camping trip

By David Prior at

Former TV weatherman Fred Talbot has been jailed for four years for historical sex offences against boys he took on school trips to Scotland while he was a teacher at an Altrincham school.

The 67-year-old, from Bowdon, was last month convicted of indecently assaulting seven teenage boys after a nine-day trial at Lanark Sheriff Court.

The offences took place between 1978 and 1981 while Talbot was a biology teacher at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys.

Talbot, who had denied the allegations, is already serving a five-year sentence after being convicted in 2015 for the indecent assault of two pupils from Altrincham Grammar.

The new four-year sentence will start at the end of the punishment part of that jail term.

Fred Talbot on a boat during his time as a teacher in the 1970s

The offences, which involved boys aged between 15 and 17, happened during separate trips to two locations – one near Moffat in southern Scotland, and one on the Caledonian Canal in Inverness.

During the trial, a succession of male witnesses in their 50s who cannot be named for legal reasons, told of their initial excitement at going on the trips – sometimes the first time away from their parents.

At the time, Talbot was a young teacher “with a more relaxed attitude than others” and would talk to the boys about topics such as pop music, alcohol and sex, the court heard.

The men went on to recount how Talbot abused his position of trust to attack them more than 35 years ago.

Talbot worked for Granada Reports until his original arrest in 2013

He urged young boys to drink alcohol before attempting to molest them in a string of sick incidents.

During the trial, Stone Roses singer Ian Brown took to the stand to tell the jury Talbot molested his friend during one of the trips.

He said: “The boy then left the tent and I saw him again 10 or 15 minutes later.

“I will always remember him diving back into the tent and landing on top of us.”

Another witness told of his “horror” when he awoke to find Talbot touching him in a tent when he was partially clothed.

Fred Talbot on his weather map in Liverpool’s Albert Dock while weatherman for This Morning

Det Insp Bryan Lee described Talbot as a “sexual predator who hid behind a mask of respectability”.

“He used his position as a teacher to engineer situations which allowed him to isolate and target his victims,” he said.

“He took advantage of his position of trust to abuse young men in his care.

Talbot’s mug shot

“Thanks to the bravery of his victims, their courage in speaking to us and their commitment and support throughout this investigation, and to close working with Greater Manchester Police, we have been able to secure this conviction today.”

Talbot, a former television personality, was a regular on the floating weather map in Liverpool’s Albert Dock for ITV’s This Morning show, and was also Granada Reports’ weatherman.