Sunday 25th June 2017,
North Yorks Enquirer

JACONELLI Apologist: SBC Cllr John NOCK

JACONELLI Apologist: SBC Cllr John NOCK

  • an “In My View” article by NIGEL WARD, reporting on an extraordinarily insensitive defence of predatory paedophile Peter JACONELLI, former Councillor, Mayor and Alderman of Scarborough Council.

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Following the encouraging news that SBC Councillor Luke BACKHOUSE [Con.] has responded positively to Councillor Andy STRANGEWAY’s appeal for SBC to dignify the victims/survivors of Peter JACONELLI with a simple “Sorry!”, this brief report refers to the Conservative Councillor who, as reported in a previous article (though without disclosing his identity), was heard expounding his views in the Members’ Room at Scarborough Town Hall, immediately before the SBC Special Meeting of 23rd October 2015, convened for the purpose of “bestowing” Freeman status on two prominent members of the Scarborough community, and Alderman status on five former Councillors who voluntarily left the Council in May 2015 – or failed to achieve re-election (i.e. were rejected by an increasingly discerning electorate).

I speak of Councillor John NOCK [Con.], who apparently holds the belief that Peter JACONELLI was not really such a liability at all – not like that execrable Jimmy SAVILE. (What did happen to the £100,000 that SBC set aside to erect a statue to Jimmy SAVILE?)

It has been alleged, by Councillors present at the time, that Councillor John NOCK stated that Peter JACONELLI was not a predatory paedophile. Unlike Jimmy SAVILE, he was not an abuser and rapist of minors; he did not use his position and its attendant influence to cover up his half-century of sex crimes against minors. Absolutely not. He was guilty of nothing more delinquent than slipping young lads a bit of pocket money for giving him the odd hand-job. Nothing the matter with that, eh, John? Merely an expansive act of largesse, lending a hint of the common touch to the otherwise austere pomp of the Mayoralty – patently the stuff of which only the most transcendant of Aldermen are made.

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In my view – and I would expect any right-thinking public servant to agree with me – Councillor John NOCK’s comments are absolutely unacceptable.

They are more than disrespectful; they are contemptuous. And contemptible – certainly to the victims/survivors, who have endured enough.

Corrupting minors into paedophilic prostitution is not compatible with being an Alderman, a Mayor, a Councillor or any other position of public trust. In my view, it is utterly inexcusable, and I would be astonished to learn that SBC Chief Officers would disagree.

That is why, after a year of procrastination and obfuscation, Scarborough Borough Council finally stripped JACONELLI of his Alderman status in May 2014.

Is Councillor John NOCK seriously suggesting that the Council over-reacted? That Peter JACONELLI’s name should still adorn that Teflon Honours List – to be publicly lionised despite his ten bob hand-jobs, and with his rapes and other sexual assaults conveniently omitted from the reckoning? Perhaps so.

It is interesting to note that Councillor John NOCK made his offensive remarks on 23rd October 2015. On Wednesday 28th October, Andy STRANGEWAY invited all 50 SBC Councillors to say “Sorry!” to the victims/survivors of Peter JACONELLI’s half-century of sexual abuse and rape. Councillor John NOCK, having read-receipted (but not until Sunday 1st November 2015) Andy’s “Say Sorry” appeal, offered no response at all – much less any form of apology, or even an expression of condemnation.

Clearly, Councillor John NOCK is not only a paedophile apologist, he is consciously and conspicuously unrepentant about it.

This stands in diametric contrast to his fellow Conservative Councillor Luke BACKHOUSE, whose earnest recommendation it is that the Council should indeed say “Sorry!” to the victims/survivors and their loved ones.

Two Conservatives, swimming in opposite directions, eh? So much for the cohesion achieved through Leadership, the seventh and last of the Seven Nolan Principles of Public Life. Councillor Derek BASTIMAN [Con.], Leader of the Council and the Conservative group, needs to get a grip.

I am reliably informed, from within ‘the Citadel’, that Councillor John NOCK is now to be the subject of a Standards investigation instigated by fellow Councillors, of diverse political persuasion, backed by their respective Group Leaders – though not, as I predicted, fellow Conservative Councillors.

I suspect that we may now look forward to a protracted exercise in flimflammery (with its concomitant drain on Council resources), the result of which will in all likelihood be that Councillor John NOCK will be ‘sentenced’ to the maximum sanction – fifteen minutes of re-training with the Monitoring Officer, that paragon of moral probity, Lisa DIXON.

Or perhaps Lisa DIXON will draft a disingenuous apology on behalf of Councillor John “Hand-job” NOCK (as he will in all perpetuity be known), just as she did in the case of the racist remarks of Councillor Mike “N-word” COCKERILL. It certainly makes one wonder just how low elected members must sink before any substantive action is taken against them.

A personal, humble and sincere public apology – penned by Councillor John “Hand-job” NOCK himself, alone and uncounselled, and published in the Scarborough News, the Whitby Gazette and the North Yorks Enquirer – would count for something.

And if the Scarborough & Whitby Conservative Association – the local  branch of the party that for decades has pimped itself as ‘the party of family values’ – can collectively muster two brain cells to rub together, they might just be pragmatic enough to withdraw the Whip from Councillor John NOCK and hand him his membership card in two pieces.

Might.

The only acceptable outcome would be for Councillor John NOCK to evince the courage to resign his seat from the Council, then (if he has the courage) to stand for re-election, thereby allowing his electorate to express their opinion on paedophile apologists in general, and John NOCK in particular.

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But let us remember that Councillor John NOCK is not the first Scarborough Borough Councillor to defend Peter JACONELLI.

On 29th May 2014, I reported on Councillor Bill CHATT’s unsubtle remarks in the Council Chamber, in praise of Peter JACONELLI:

“I used to walk along there and actually work for three hours in his shop. I saw how many people came to that shop and he gave support to. He was my ward Councillor for many years and I know the people up there went to him and got help, support, and in some cases even financial help to support them himself.”

One could be forgiven for wondering whether or not Councillor John NOCK and Councillor Bill CHATT were ever on the ‘hand-job’ payroll.

It is difficult to believe that any Councillor could fail to appreciate that the insidious practice of buying electors’ votes whilst simultaneously paying their children for sex is doubly wrong and totally contrary to the fundamental principles of democracy – clearly subversive to the proper standards of conduct that the public has a right to expect of custodians of the public trust.

But the fact that filthy lucre changed hands seems to have been enough to satisfy these paedophile apologists that all must have been in order, all on a proper business footing. Paid for what he got, eh? No problem there, then, squire. Free market, innit? Right?

Wrong.

JACONELLI apologists like John NOCK and Bill CHATT, by their very presence, diminish the good standing of the Council.

At the same time, their blasé trivialisation of the sexual corruption of minors serves to alert the public to the deplorable departure from the ethical framework that certain elements of the present Council have come to epitomise.

In my view, the only way is out.

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