Newcastle woman accused of sex offences has bail revoked

A woman who allegedly dressed a little girl in lingerie to be raped by her husband must remain in custody, a High Court judge ruled on Friday.

Bail granted to Heather Talbot, 57, was overturned amid claims she took part in the abuse and fuelled her partner’s child sex fantasies.

Prosecutors also contended that online chat logs point to the Co Down couple having targeted other, still unidentified, young victims.

Talbot, a cleaner from Kinghill Avenue in Newcastle, is charged with eight sexual offences including aiding and abetting rape, inciting and committing gross indecency with a child, and indecent assault on a female.

She is further accused of making, possessing and distributing indecent images of a child.

Her 58-year-old husband, Gary Talbot, faces similar offences and two counts of raping the girl.

The charges against them relate to a period between 2001 and 2003 when the child was said to be aged between two and four.

Crown lawyer Philip Henry revealed that up to 500,000 indecent images of children were found at their home.

They included photographs allegedly depicting both defendants in sexual activity with the alleged victim at their home, the court heard.

The girl was described as wearing stockings and revealing underwear in some of the images.

The court was told Heather Talbot denies recording any abuse, but accepted accompanying her husband to buy the lingerie outfits after discussing his sexual fantasies about children.

Bail was initially granted to Heather Talbot, prompting the prosecution to lodge a High Court appeal.

Opposing her release due to the risk of re-offending, Mr Henry claimed she was just as active a participant as her husband.

Granting the prosecution appeal, Mrs Justice Keegan cited the potential risk of interference with the administration of justice.

Refusing bail, the judge said: “I’m not convinced at the moment that a case is made out in relation to the minor role suggested by the defence.”