A COUNCIL leader has vowed to remove all civic honours from the former mayor of a Yorkshire town if sex abuse allegations against him are proven.
North Yorkshire Police is expected to shortly conclude its criminal investigation into claims made against the late Peter Jaconelli, a former mayor of Scarborough.
Scarborough Council’s leader Tom Fox said yesterday he would not hesitate in bringing forward a motion to remove honours if police decide the allegations of sexual offending against children and young people were “credible and founded.”
In a statement to the authority’s full council meeting Coun Fox told members that he expected the North Yorkshire Police probe to be finalised soon.
He said: “Following allegations received some 12 months ago by this council into serious sexual offending against children and young people by the late Peter Jaconelli, this council immediately engaged with North Yorkshire Police to ensure a proper criminal investigation could be undertaken.
“The reports received by the council were forwarded to the police and a police investigation commenced. Subsequently, further reports were submitted to the police as a consequence of publicity given to the allegations.
“These reports are being considered by the police as part of the ongoing investigation, which was triggered by the council’s initial referrals.”
He added: “There should be no doubt that, if the police conclude that these allegations are credible and founded, as leader of this council, I will not hesitate to bring forward a motion seeking the removal of all civic honours from the offender.”
He also stressed the council’s support for the victims of sexual offences and praised their courage in reporting such crimes.
Last year the council formally stripped civic honours granted to Jimmy Savile in the wake of the police investigation into the disgraced broadcaster’s offending.
The DJ, who was friends with Jaconelli, had previously been given the freedom of the borough and was buried in the town.