Manchester

Fred Talbot says sexual activity with boy 'was consensual'

Fred Talbot with an injury on his head after falling while leaving the witness box Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fred Talbot resumed giving evidence less than 24 hours after he fell while leaving the witness box

Former TV weatherman Fred Talbot has told a court he had sexual activity with one of his alleged victims, saying the boy was 16 and it was consensual.

Mr Talbot also had sexual encounters with "three or four" sixth formers aged 18, his trial heard.

Claims by Stone Roses singer Ian Brown - one of his former pupils - that children were told to masturbate for homework were "utter rubbish", he said.

The 65-year-old former teacher denies all ten counts of indecent assault.

He resumed giving evidence less than 24 hours after he fell while leaving the witness box.

'My first partner'

The charges relate to five schoolboys between the late 1960s and the early 1980s, during his former career as a teacher.

Mr Talbot told the jury one alleged victim, from Gateshead, had turned 16 when they first had sexual contact, and was not aged 14 as alleged.

In a diary entry about a month after the boy's 16th birthday, Mr Talbot wrote: "Everything I hoped for occurred but I wonder if this can only mean trouble."

Asked to explain the entry, he said: "This was the first time." He said he could not recall the detail of the sexual activity.

Defending Suzanne Goddard QC asked him: "How did it progress?

Mr Talbot said: "It lasted another three years. He was my first partner. He was a very important person. Still is."

'These things happen'

He said the relationship went "a bit sour" when he decided to move away.

Mr Talbot added they later met up again on two occasions in the early 1970s after the alleged victim wrote to his mother to say he wanted to get back in touch.

He told the jury the 18 year olds with whom he had "sexual encounters" were from Altrincham Grammar Boys' School.

He said he was in his mid-20s at the time and that one of the encounters led to a long-term relationship.

Miss Goddard said: "Were you openly gay at Altrincham Grammar School?"

Mr Talbot said: "No, you couldn't be. It was absolutely frowned upon."

He said the sexual activity with the sixth formers was "fairly minor", adding: "We just got chatting. These things happen."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ian Brown, lead singer with The Stone Roses, was taught by Mr Talbot. He is not one of the complainants

Earlier, when asked by his barrister if he recalled Ian Brown's evidence, he replied: "I well recall. I don't think it even warrants comment. I think what he said, it was utter rubbish.

"Then he went on about a porn film... it's just not fair."

"Can you image showing 11-year-olds something like that? Where would I get the films?

"No, I never did."

Mr Talbot, of Bowdon, Trafford, was taken to hospital for precautionary checks on Tuesday after he fell in court.

Judge Timothy Mort told the jury that he had made "a good recovery apart from a scab to his head" and he would be given a break if required.

Mr Talbot is best known for presenting the weather forecast on a floating map in Liverpool's Albert Dock for ITV's This Morning programme and was also the weather presenter for ITV's regional news programme in the North West, Granada Reports.

The trial at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court continues.

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