Scarborough councillor '˜sorry' over Savile and Jaconelli remarks

A CONSERVATIVE councillor in Scarborough has apologised after he was overhead making comments about sex predators Jimmy Savile and former town mayor Peter Jaconelli and their victims.

Scarborough Councillor John Nock

John Nock was at a council meeting last year when two fellow councillors heard him arguing that ice cream manufacturer and suspected child abuser Jaconelli was interested in older children than the former Top of the Pops host and TV star.

The councillors claimed Cllr Nock - who represents the Mugrave Ward in Scarborough Borough Council - used “crude” language to make the distinction between the victims of Savile and Jaconelli and their ages.

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Jaconelli would be facing allegations of child sex abuse if he was still alive.

The ice cream shop owner and his friend Savile were suspected of being involved in the abuse of 35 young victims as part of a paedophile ring operating in Scarborough.

The minutes of this week’s Standards Committee meeting state: “Councillor John Nock explained that he believed he was having a dispassionate discussion about what Peter Jaconelli’s behaviour should be described as, admitting that he was playing devil’s advocate by drawing a distinction between Savile and Jaconelli’s respective targets.

“In strict terms, this made Savile a paedophile, and Jaconelli a hebephile. Councillor Nock went on to deny vehemently the wording which had been attributed to him in the complaint, including the use of crude, colloquial language to describe Jaconelli’s activities.”

It adds: “He also felt that distorting a private conversation and then divulging it externally was what brought the Council into disrepute.

“Councillor Nock concluded by commenting that he regretted the conversation, he had no desire to upset the two complainants, and that he was in no way condoning Jaconelli’s behaviour.

“He acknowledged that he had been unwise to engage in the conversation with the complainant, and would be more careful in future.”

The standards committee found that Cllr Nock had acted inappropriately in making the comments at a time when he was acting as a councillor.

The committee accepted his apology and found he was remorseful and not condoning the actions of the former Scarborough Mayor but Cllr Nock will be referred to the Conservative group for it to take further action against him.

Conservative group leader, Cllr Andrew Backhouse, said he had met with Cllr Nock, in the presence of the party’s monitoring officer, on Friday and the matter had been dealt with.

He confirmed that Cllr Nock remained a member of the party.