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Fred Talbot sexual abuse in Scotland investigated

Published February 15, 2015 by JS2

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Police have been investigating allegations involving offences said to have been committed in Scotland by former TV weatherman Fred Talbot.

Talbot, who was born in Edinburgh, was found guilty in Manchester yesterday of two indecent assaults on teenage boys.

The victims had been pupils at a grammar school where Talbot was a teacher in the 1970s.

Police Scotland yesterday confirmed that it has been examining claims Talbot committed similar offences in Scotland.

The Crown Office has not received a full prosecution report.

Talbot was yesterday remanded in custody shortly after a jury found him guilty of indecently assaulting two pupils at the Altrincham Grammar School for Boys in the mid-1970s during his former career as a biology teacher.

Talbot, 65, had resigned in disgrace from the school in 1984 after making indecent comments to two 15-year-old pupils but hid the indiscretion when his big TV break came a year later.

He continued to cover his tracks when police first investigated him in 1992 and lied again to detectives in the current investigation when they uncovered a host of diaries which were littered with references to sexual encounters.

Talbot looked surprised as Judge Timothy Mort told him his sentence would start immediately but politely nodded to the jury of nine women and three men at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court as he left the dock. He will be sentenced next month but is also the subject of a historical abuse inquiry by police into complaints of offences said to have been committed in Scotland. It is understood the procurator fiscal is aware.

The jury in Manchester heard that 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 he made his advances.

Prosecutor Neil Usher said he was “a weak and selfish man who regularly drank too much” and this led to temptation when boys were in his care.

Both of Talbot’s victims, said to be 14 or 15 at the time, were assaulted on school trips on a canal barge in the Cheshire area in the mid-1970s.

Each boy was told they had to share a bed with Talbot because there were not enough single bunk beds and each was then abused by him as they slept in a partitioned area.

One of them said he was drunk when he took part in a mock naked “orgy” staged by Talbot and involving up to 10 other boys on the barge, in which some of the youngsters pretended to be girls.

Among the prosecution witnesses at the four-week trial were 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.

The court heard that Talbot’s teaching career came to a swift 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, who denied 10 counts of indecent assault, will be sentenced on 13 March.

The Scotsman

Child sexual exploitation is widespread in Scotland, charity warns

Published November 11, 2014 by JS2

Child Sex Abuse

BARNARDO’s warned an inquiry into child sex abuse in Scotland could take years if it examines the “absolutely enormous” range of offences.

A CHILDREN’S charity has warned that child sexual exploitation is widespread in Scotland ahead of the expected announcement of a Scottish Government national action plan.

Barnardo’s said Scotland should be very concerned about child sex abuse warning that determined perpetrators will abuse a large number of children and must be stopped.

Education Secretary Mike Russell will give a statement to parliament on child protection today, which is widely expected to contain a commitment to a national action plan.

Labour said the government must go further and hold a full public inquiry.

But charity Barnardo’s say an inquiry could take years if it examines the “absolutely enormous” range of offences in Scotland.

Director Martin Crewe said: “We are certain that there is widespread child abuse but what we don’t know is the exact nature and prevalence of it.

“I don’t think that the exact nature of Rotherham is happening in Scotland now.

“What we are seeing with child sexual exploitation is a wide range of problems, from an unfortunate relationship between, say, a 19-year-old male and a 14-year-old girl right through to organised abuse.”

He continued: “We know that a determined perpetrator will abuse a large number of children.

“We have to get in there and not just pick up the pieces. We’re working with the police, for instance, to identify perpetrators early and to really bring them to account.”

He said any public inquiry should balance the need to investigate historic abuse in institutions with calls for a wider examination of abuse in foster care or in the home.

“We need to be clear what the parameters are because this could be absolutely enormous and take years to come to fruition,” he said.

But Labour justice spokesman Graeme Pearson said the government should not be constrained by the scale of the problem.

He said: “No matter what a challenge it provides to us if we can’t look after the most vulnerable and the innocent amongst us then it’s time to put the light out.

“If we have a public inquiry we begin to hear the voices, there will be ways that we can ensure that the right people are in charge of these residential establishments.

“There will be a way to ensure that the children who are cared for within these establishments – when they raise issues something is done about it.”

Daily Record

Child abusers filmed murder, claims charity

Published November 9, 2014 by JS2

CHILDREN in Scotland have been the victims of evil ritual abuse including rape, murder and even the production of so-called ‘snuff films’, two leading charities claimed last night.

One veteran campaigner said he had even heard of babies being born and never registered, so the innocent youngsters would not be missed when they were eventually killed by secret paedophile networks.

The existence of such terrifying ‘cults’ practising the ritual abuse of children is said to have gone unchecked in Scotland for decades, with those victims who do come forward facing scepticism and outright disbelief.

Although many of the vile incidents are said to have taken place some years ago, experts are sure that an unknown number of ritual abuse rings are still in operation today.

Last night, Police Scotland said they were taking the allegations “incredibly seriously” and would investigate any complaints made to them.

The claims are certain to put the Scottish Government under intense pressure to finally announce a public inquiry into historic child sexual abuse – with Scotland now the only part of the UK without such a review.

Education Secretary Michael Russell is due to make a statement to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday in response to growing calls from survivors, charities, lawyers, politicians and human rights groups.

The disturbing claims of ‘snuff films’ and widespread ritual abuse came to light during a lengthy investigation by this newspaper and were made independently of each other by two charities operating in different parts of Scotland.

Break the Silence is an award-winning charity based in Kilmarnock which has helped some 2,800 childhood abuse victims in North and East Ayrshire alone over the past decade, working with the two councils and NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

Founder Kate Short, who sits on the Holyrood committee on adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, said the level of depravity experienced by some of their clients – most of whom are now aged 30 to 55 – was “unbelievable”.

She said: “We hear of ritual abuse, it’s not common but we have had quite a lot of people that have been abused as part of a cult or a paedophile ring.

“In the worst cases they have been forced to watch the making of snuff movies.

“It’s the extreme, barbaric type of terror that can lead to serious personal disorder.

“Often it is siblings who are forced to have sex with one another in front of the paedophiles or on the ceremonial altar.

“There are animals involved, it is vile.

“Sadly many of these victims lack the confidence to engage the authorities because they think no-one will believe them.

“They are controlled by fear.

“The cults and rituals involve all sorts of people and many are often upstanding members of society or possibly in positions of authority or power.

“Their victims are so brainwashed they don’t dare to speak against them which makes it near impossible to see any prosecutions let alone convictions.

“And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“We are contacted almost on a weekly basis. This is something that’s been going on forever and I can’t see it ever stopping.

“I don’t think the authorities that could stop it really believe the extent of it or even that it does exist.”

Ms Short said survivors often suppressed their memories of such harrowing childhood events and therefore the specific details are vague, meaning they can be written off as suffering from of ‘False Memory Syndrome’ or mental illness.

Education Secretary Michael Russell is due to make a statement to the Scottish Parliament

Education Secretary Michael Russell is due to make a statement to the Scottish Parliament

Many abuse survivors also lead chaotic adult lives involving problems with drink, drugs or crime, making them even less likely to be believed.

However, the astonishing claims were supported by another reputable charity, Izzy’s Promise, based in Dundee.

Project co-ordinator Joseph Lumbasi said that while ritual abuse did occur in immigrant communities, the overwhelming majority of cases involved white Scottish perpetrators and victims.

He said: “Actually 80 per cent of those who contact us are born and brought up right here in Scotland.

“We’ve dealt with people who have been involved in gang rape ceremonies, animal slaughters and all sorts of things in secret places.

“People who talk to us are relating us their experiences from when they were maybe just eight, nine or ten – kids really.

“There are stories of girls being forced to conceive and then their babies are aborted for sacrifices. Children are born that are never registered. It is not impossible, they never come up. There is pornography, sick films. Horrific things are happening and nobody is getting caught.

“But all these incidents are so well orchestrated it is near impossible to find anyone to corroborate with your story or to find evidence.

“The leaders are very clever and very powerful. The victims are moved from place to place at such rate they lose track of where they are. They may be drugged or controlled by fear. Their recollections of what has taken place, when and where are muddled.

“But it is happening here, in Scotland, as we speak and must be exposed.”

Mr Lumbasi also said that few victims reported their claims to the police because they lived in such fear of their abusers, even many years later, and also because they were concerned at being named as accomplices.

He added: “In most cases, we can’t blame the police for not taking action. If they have no actual evidence such as names, times or places to go with, what can they do?”

Many of the crimes reported to Izzy’s Promise are said to have taken place within families or religious groups, where any attempt to expose the abuse was portrayed as “disloyalty”.

Mr Lumbasi continued: “I recently spoke with a lady from near here who couldn’t stop crying. She had been through it all and said she couldn’t live with the things she’d done.

“She was telling about everything that had happened to her, drugs, abuse, watching others being abused, sacrifices, animal sacrifices, being raped, being forced to conceive and then abort the child for sacrifice.

“At one point she says she may have killed a young child because she was forced to strangle the child. She doesn’t know if it is a real memory or a planted one.

“That’s the sort of power the perpetrators have on their victims.”

There has never been a proven example of a snuff film – where a person is murdered on camera – being made in Britain, although there have been an isolated number of cases where perverts have been caught with such footage made abroad.

Over the years there have been a number of high profile ritual abuse cases in Scotland, including a major police investigation in Ayrshire into an alleged Satanic sex ring involving 70 adults and children.

It began after eight siblings were taken into care in 1990 with a sheriff saying there was evidence of “sinister elements of sadism, ritualism and torture”.

The youngsters were reunited with their parents five years later after the allegations were proved to be unfounded, following a pattern set by similar cases in Orkney, Cleveland and Rochdale where social workers were said to have been over-zealous.

In 2002, a young woman named Laurie Matthew wrote a book called Where Angels Fear which claimed to identify areas across Dundee, Angus and Perthshire where ritual abuse of children was said to have taken place.

Scottish Labour’s justice spokesman, Graeme Pearson MSP, who has been campaigning for the government inquiry into historic abuse, said: “Theresa May has apologised this week to survivors for resignations relating to her Public Inquiry into historical child abuse.

“Meanwhile the Scottish Government continues duck and weave on the issue, refusing our demands to hold a public inquiry to enable us all to know what is the situation here in Scotland, and how can we protect vulnerable young people in our care today.

“Survivors have bravely fought for years to be heard and Scottish Labour has supported their calls for an inquiry. The SNP declare they stand for social justice in Scotland – if so why don’t they initiate a public inquiry now into historical child abuse?

“The buck has been repeatedly passed in Scotland between Mr Macaskill, Mr Russell and Ms Cunningham in the Scottish government. The time for justice is now. It is time someone in government acted in this matter.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said they worked continuously with law enforcement, local government and children’s charities to ensure those to prey on children are targeted.

She added they also supported those who had “fallen victim to what is a despicable crime” and continued: “The Education Secretary will update Parliament on this extensive and wide-reaching work and will also provide an update on the Scottish Government’s recent response to the InterAction process to ensure we properly acknowledge and support the survivors of historic abuse in care institutions. Of course, if anyone has any evidence of abuse, or any other criminal behaviour, they should report this to the police to make appropriate investigations.”

Last night Police Scotland said it took all allegations of abuse “incredibly seriously” and a spokesman added: “If anyone has any concerns they should contact us on 101.”

Paula Murray