Mystery as shamed Scarborough mayor’s headstone disappears

THE headstone of a suspected Scarborough paedeophile and friend of Jimmy Savile has been mysteriously removed.

The grave of Peter Jaconelli with its headstone removed. Below: Jaconelli with Jimmy Savile. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Peter Jaconelli, the disgraced former mayor of Scarborough, is buried a few yards from his close freiend Savile - whose own headstone was removed in 2012.

Savile’s headstone - which includes the epitaph “It was good while it lasted” - was removed from Woodlands Cemetary, in Scarborough.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The tombstone, which was adorned with the disgraced star’s face, was removed under the cover of darkness to protect the ”dignity and sanctity” of the cemetery.

Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconelli.

Jaconelli’s stone disappeared from the graveyard after North Yorkshire Police confirmed that had the former mayor still been alive, he and Savile would have been arrested on suspicion of abusing dozens of children between them.

It’s not yet known when or why the grave was removed, or who was behind the decision.

But one of Jaconelli’s alleged victims said it was only a matter of time before the town started trying to erase the ice cream entrepreneur from history.

“For years everyone knew about Jaconelli, but with the police finally bringing all of this up and exposing him at last, he’s quickly become a hate figure in Scarborough, just like Savile,” said the victim, who asked not to be named.

“It’s easy to imagine someone who still holds a grudge against him to want to deface it, so I’m not surprised in the slightest this has happened.”

Glasgow-born Jaconelli was laid to rest in the plot - which overlooks a school - in 1999 after his death at the age of 73. It is also the resting place of Jaconelli’s wife Anna.

Earlier this week, in light of what police claim is “overwhelming” evidence against Jaconelli, his nephew Denis said that the family were now beginning to doubt his innocence.

“Peter Jaconelli is not here to defend himself, but we have to have confidence in what the police are saying - it is shocking and traumatic,” admitted 63-year-old Denis, speaking on behalf of the family.

“We are family people ourselves and abhor anything like this.

“If he did do anything like this it would be despicable, but it was certainly not obvious to us.”

Ian Shimmin, from the Scarborough abuse charity Hope, added: “Everyone who lived in Scarborough at the time knew Jaconelli was a serial abuser.”

Even before the conclusion on the 10-month long police investigation which exposed an apparent sordid lust for boys, Scarborough Council already started the process of removing him from the town’s memory.

Councillors agreed to posthumously strip Jaconelli of his honorary Alderman status in 2013.