Official: Peter Jaconelli innocent (!)
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have cleared North Yorkshire Police of misconduct in the Jaconelli and Savile investigations.
- Crime and Parliamentary affairs correspondent Tim Hicks writes with an update to our ongoing Jimmy Savile and Peter Jaconelli investigation.
Recently there have been a number of developments in the Jimmy Savile story in Yorkshire and the North. These are as follows:
Savile’s friend and former driver Ray Teret, whom we understand visited Scarborough and stayed with Savile there has been arrested and charged with historical offences against fifteen teenage girls.
Savile lived in Leeds and regularly entertained police officers while they were in uniform and on duty at his flat as part of his “Friday Morning Club”. The West Yorkshire Police investigation named Operation Newgreen largely exonerated itself from any criticism and has been severely criticised.
Subsequently a retired Leeds policeman has claimed that “there wasn’t a copper in the city who didn’t know Savile was a pervert”. Full story here:
Additionally a retired West Yorkshire Police Inspector who was thought to be a member of the Friday Morning Club has been referred to the IPCC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21520060
Savile’s “Friday Morning Club” with Police Officers in Leeds and social contacts with Police Officers in Scarborough.
There have been concerns raised locally that North Yorkshire Police Officers were members of Savile’s “Friday Morning Club”, which was based in Leeds, so I investigated these concerns with a Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire Police in April 2013, which was ignored. In contrast, the British Transport Police responded openly and promptly that none of their officers were involved.
This raised the question of why North Yorkshire Police would not comment on the names of the officers that were members of the “Friday Morning Tea Club”, given that the West Yorkshire Police report admitted “over-reliance on personal friendships” between Savile and some officers, and said “mistakes were made” in handling intelligence.
Subsequently West Yorkshire Police responded to a Freedom of Information request by refusing to confirm who were the eight serving or retired Police officers who met every week at Savile’s home in Leeds, for his ‘Friday Morning Club’ for over 20 years. However it did confirm that there were no officers from North Yorkshire Police identified as members of Mr Savile’s “Friday Morning Club”.
So on the 16th of October 2013, I submitted another FOI request as follows:
“Whether any officer of North Yorkshire Police was a member of Jimmy Savile’s Friday Morning Tea Club that met regularly in Leeds, or of a similar social club that met in Scarborough or if members of North Yorkshire Police socialised regularly with Jimmy Savile”
The response from North Yorkshire Police was:
“Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within North Yorkshire Police to locate relevant information.
I can advise you that the available information indicates that no members of North Yorkshire Police had been attendees at the ‘Jimmy Savile Friday Morning Tea Club’.”
Concerning social contacts between Savile and North Yorkshire Police the report went on to state:
“The available information indicates that no members of North Yorkshire Police socialised regularly with Mr Savile. Accordingly, the formal response I must give to your request is that there is no information held.”
And it went on to state:
“Please note North Yorkshire Police have responded in this instance, in line with the force’s positive approach to compliance with disclosure regimes wherever possible. However, I wish to take this opportunity to remind you that based on previous correspondence with you in relation to Freedom of Information matters, which in certain instances has been characterised as vexatious within the meaning of the law, I consider it likely that the force will refuse to answer repeated requests, or requests from you which appear frivolous, oppressive or calculated to cause distress or annoyance, disproportionate effort or other related negative impacts upon the organisation.”
Regular readers of Real Whitby will know that it has been alleged in the national press that North Yorkshire Police were aware of Savile’s offending in Scarborough and actively investigated Savile in 2003.
Essentially, the allegations made in the local and national press about Jimmy Savile and his associates in Scarborough are that Jimmy Savile offended in Scarborough with Peter Jaconelli and another man Jimmy Corrigan.
Peter Jaconelli was a predatory homosexual paedophile who – although widely known to be committing sexual offences against children – was left alone by the local police because of his position as Mayor, Councillor and prominent local businessman. Savile and Corrigan indulged in group sex with six females at the Otley Carnival in 1966, some of whom may have been under age. They also had a sleep-over together at a cub scout camp in Doncaster in a camper van. It is also alleged that Savile imported defenceless mental patients from Rampton to meet Jaconelli and Corrigan.
Deputy Chief Constable Madgwick has recently announced that Mr Moir Stewart, the IPCC Director of Investigations has now exonerated North Yorkshire Police of any blame for its failure to detect Savile (Operation Yewtree Tier 1), Jaconelli or Corrigan (Operation Yewtree Tier 2): “I am now able to let you know we have completed that review of all the evidence and material relating to the late Jimmy Savile and have decided to take no further action with regard to your force.” http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/12393
This IPCC decision is on the basis that all of the available evidence and material on Jimmy Savile had been examined by North Yorkshire Police and provided to the IPCC. However, the witness evidence on Savile and Jaconelli collected by Real Whitby and others and not seen by Mr Stewart is as follows:
Witness A: Mr Trevor Harrington. 13/02/2013 (NOT INTERVIEWED BY NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE AND EVIDENCE WITHELD FROM IPCC REPORT)
“I was a member of his Ippon Judo Club and also worked for him at his ice cream parlours as a boy. I can confirm from personal experience that all of the allegations published about this man are entirely correct and he was a predatory paedophile, who preyed on local children. Other witnesses have posted confirmation of the same, including that he had convictions for offences of indecency.
His activities were well known by locals and I do not think for one minute that the authorities were not aware of this which I consider yet another blight that needs attention.
I was therefore aghast to see his photograph advertising Whitby and Scarborough and to read that he was made an honorary Alderman, when in fact he was a child abuser that did a lot of damage to the reputation of both places and to local children, which is ongoing.
I note that Councillor Tom Fox has moved that Jimmy Savile is stripped of his title of Honorary Freeman of the Borough following the revelations about him and I support his action on this. I am a proud Scarborian and would formally request that Peter Jaconelli is also stripped of his title of Alderman on the same basis, to remove this stain from the history of the Borough.
I thank you in anticipation of your consideration of this request and look forward to your response.”
Witness D: Name redacted. (NOT INTERVIEWED BY NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE AND EVIDENCE WITHELD FROM IPCC REPORT)
“Well done, at last some honesty in Scarborough. The cancer that has eaten away at Scarborough for so long has finally been revealed. I worked for “Jaco” in the eighties, his brother-in-law Tony who ran the ice cream factory behind Tricolos, where I worked, told me he was a predatory pervert. Admittedly, lots of the boys he did stuff with were well into their late teens and teased and flirted with him to get money over the counter of the sea front ice cream parlour. There were others though who he preyed on who were rather less proactive-the shop was full of attractive and VERY young boys. The lads in the shop had to squeeze past his crotch to serve ice cream. It astonished me then how so much stuff like this was common knowledge in Scarborough but nothing was done. The place was sewn up by a grim cartel of police, ‘business’ and government.
Thanks so much for standing up to be counted. Let’s start a chorus of disapproval.”
Witness E: Name redacted. (NOT INTERVIEWED BY NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE AND EVIDENCE WITHELD FROM IPCC REPORT)
“I linked today via Twitter to the article in the Scarborough Evening News about the former Mayor Peter Jaconelli and his unsavoury activities.
The article reminded me of my own encounter with the man outside his shop on the foreshore in the summer of 1968. At the time I was fifteen and working during the summer on the Regal lady and Coronia (Yorkshire lady).
On a Saturday morning he approached me as I passed his shop and proposition me to go with him above his shop and mentioned some disgusting activities. I refused and my response led him to ridicule and embarrass me in front of passing holiday makers.
I told my parents and my father took me to the Police station where I made a statement. The Police officer I spoke to said he believed me and was aware of similar allegations against Peter Jaconnelli. However he said Jaconelli was a Town Councillor, I believe a County Councillor, Judo club owner, business man and all round pillar of society, I was a school boy!
Needless to say that was the last I heard. I heard rumours amongst fellow school boys and on his death that graffiti had been scrawled in the church entrance.
I was very pleased to see that finally after 45 years this man activities have been made public. I fully support the removal of his mans Civic awards he was a disgusting individual and I believe he was protected. More should have been done to stop him at the time by the Police the Council and other leading members of Scarborough society who clearly knew what was going on. That wasn’t to be but like another former Scarborough luminary recently stripped of his Civic awards Jaconnelli she be remembered for what he was, not for what people thought he was.”
Witness F: Name redacted. (NOT KNOWN OF AT THE TIME, SO NOT INTERVIEWED BY NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE AND EVIDENCE NOT AVAILABLE TO IPCC)
Evidence withheld for legal reasons
Witness G: Name redacted. (NOT KNOWN OF AT THE TIME, SO NOT INTERVIEWED BY NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE AND EVIDENCE NOT AVAILABLE TO IPCC)
Evidence withheld for legal reasons
Witness H: Name redacted. (NOT KNOWN OF AT THE TIME, SO NOT INTERVIEWED BY NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE AND EVIDENCE NOT AVAILABLE TO IPCC)
Evidence withheld for legal reasons
Witness I: Name redacted. (NOT KNOWN OF AT THE TIME, SO NOT INTERVIEWED BY NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE AND EVIDENCE NOT AVAILABLE TO IPCC)
“On 20th November 2013, during the interview of a witness for another case (conducted by Real Whitby investigative-journalist Nigel Ward), the witness’s partner disclosed that he had been assaulted by Peter Jaconelli in the gent’s toilet of a Scarborough restaurant in 1953. Jaconelli forced his hand into the then thirteen-year-old’s open fly and attempted to take out his penis. Only the arrival of the proprietor, who knew of Jaconelli’s predilection for young boys, forcibly prevented a more serious assault”.
For more information about Peter Jaconelli see the attached article from the Scarborough News and particularly the comments below the article.
Rampton Secure Psychiatric Hospital NHS investigation.
When Real-Whitby started its investigation, the official position of Rampton Secure Psychiatric Hospital management was that Savile visited Rampton once, in the 1970s but it had not received any complaints.
However, our investigation has revealed that Savile is known to have organised visits to Scarborough for patients from Rampton.
We notified Rampton Secure Psychiatric Hospital of our concern that Savile was trafficking vulnerable patients from Rampton to Scarborough to be abused by Jaconelli and Corrigan. Their response and our comments on it can be seen in the article below.
Only members of Rampton staff were contacted about the visits to Scarborough – not patients – and it exonerated Rampton completely, asserting that no abuse took place.
Since the report on the visits to Scarborough was written by Rampton Secure Psychiatric Hospital was written, there have been three developments:
Civil Court Case
Lawyers acting for a former patient are suing the NHS over allegations he was physically and sexually abused at the secure psychiatric hospital in the 1970s by a member of staff. This was omitted from the Rampton Report.
A spokesperson for Rampton Secure Psychiatric Hospital commented:
“The case you mention is not relevant to this investigation as it does not concern Jimmy Savile”.
Nottinghamshire Police Investigation
It has emerged that Nottinghamshire Police ran a huge investigation into allegations of physical abuse and threats towards patients at the hospital at the time, after a 1979 television documentary by Yorkshire Television titled ‘The Secret Hospital’. Fourteen members of staff went on trial, resulting in five convictions. At least three of these convictions were later quashed on appeal in 1983.
Full story here: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Hospital-faces-abuse-claim/story-19604316-detail/story.html. This was also omitted from the Rampton Report.
A spokesperson for Rampton Secure Psychiatric Hospital commented:
“You are correct in that we did not mention the Boynton Report in our report, as this did not concern Jimmy Savile and the report is widely known about, referenced and available”.
Whilst these cases relate to ill treatment and assaults, not sexual abuse, it appears indicative of a lax regime of internal control and oversight of staff that existed at Rampton at the time of Jimmy Savile’s involvement there. After all, if physical abuse by members of staff could go on unchecked, could sexual abuse also go unnoticed.
Witness J: Jimmy Savile (Deceased). Evidence reported in the Sunday People (UNCLEAR IF THIS EVIDENCE WAS FORWARDED TO THE IPCC IN THE NYP REPORT)
In the Sunday People article Savile states that:
- “Two hundred miles up the A1 is our sister hospital, Rampton, and they stand for me the same as at Broadmoor.” Broadmoor is a place where Savile abused patients.
- The patients taken to Scarborough were “potentially violent sub-normals”. (See also evidence of Witness K and Rampton spokesperson below)
- Savile himself made some very strange remarks about these patients: “They can sit by you and stroke your face with a tenderness you could write beautiful poetry about. …. and when I say that I love them, the brothers of these boys know exactly what I mean.” This indicates inappropriate physical contact and emotions.
- They met Savile’s close associates Peter Jaconelli and Jimmy Corrigan.
- They were given money by Corrigan at his amusement arcades.
- They ate in one of Jaconelli’s ice-cream parlours from which the public had been excluded. (Jaconelli is alleged to have committed sexual offences against boys in his ice-cream parlours and also to have paid boys for sexual services with money from the till.)
Witness K: Name redacted. (NOT KNOWN OF AT THE TIME, SO NOT INTERVIEWED BY NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE AND EVIDENCE NOT AVAILABLE TO IPCC)
An allegation has recently been made on Real Whitby alleging that sexual abuse had occurred at Rampton.
“I can say with absolute certainty that savile did take Rampton patients to Scarborough one more than one occasion………. I can also say that sexual abuse run rife in Rampton until the documentary exposure in the late 70.
I will say quite clearly though, Savile interpretation of subnormal in the express article is very wrong.
Yes, they were calm, loving people, Subnormal classification was based on the IQ test method. Sub normals were vulnerable, largely none verbal, heavily medicated patients that would have offered absolutely no resistance to abuse whatsoever.
Many were in rampton put there by their families because of being to difficult for the home environment. Many had no families that ever visited or kept in contact – meaning no need to justify anything untoward to families or friends.”
A spokesperson for Rampton Secure Psychiatric Hospital commented:
“At this time the IQ Test was used nationally to determine subnormality. We do not have access to the patients’ records so we are unable to comment on their medication.
If this witness is certain that Jimmy Savile committed offences against our patients then they should make their evidence available to Operation Yewtree. Our investigation found no such evidence. As to wider allegations about the Hospital can I again refer you to the Boynton Report. This was an independent investigation into practices at Rampton Hospital which took place in 1978/9 (published 1980) and covered all the concerns raised at the time. It was a public enquiry chaired by a judge. There have been a vast number of changes at the Hospital as a result of and subsequently to that report”.
“Our investigation did not confirm that no abuse had taken place – we confirmed that no allegations had been received against Jimmy Savile”.
All investigators are taught that they should consider all of the evidence before coming to a conclusion. It appears to me that the North Yorkshire investigation is fundamentally flawed because salient pieces of witness evidence have not been considered. This means that the decision by Mr Stewart not to take any further action on the basis that “all the evidence and material relating to the late Jimmy Savile” was considered in the North Yorkshire Police Report is untenable. This is not a reflection on Mr Stewart or the IPCC, it merely states the fact that the report it relied on to come to this conclusion was obviously flawed.
The two critical failures in explaining the reason for the failure of the British Police Service to arrest Savile both occurred in North Yorkshire. They are:
1. The failure of North Yorkshire Police to arrest Jaconelli, (Britain’s most successful paedophile who operated untroubled by the police for all of his adult life) which would surely have led them to Savile, (Britain’s most prolific paedophile and rapist).
2. Why, when asked for intelligence on Savile by Surrey Police in 2007, North Yorkshire Police Force Intelligence Bureau replied that it had none, although according to newspaper reports, Savile, Jaconelli and Corrigan had in fact featured in a 2003 paedophile investigation conducted by North Yorkshire Police. As a result, Surrey Police did not have the intelligence from North Yorkshire it needed to assist in its investigation and the best opportunity of bringing him to justice was lost.
However, both the above key questions –arguably the two most important questions in the entire Savile investigation- remain completely unresolved and uncommented on. Until they are resolved, Operation Yewtree has no credibility.
According to the evidence we have collected, Peter Jaconelli was abusing from 1947 until his death in 1999. He seems to have been an obsessive and addicted abuser, who used his access to children at his ice cream parlours, restaurants, a local school and his judo club to the full. Assuming that he abused one child a week, his victims could run into thousands over a fifty two year reign.
Nevertheless as it stands, despite the fact that every schoolboy and parent in Scarborough knew about Jaconelli, that there is overwhelming evidence of his offending, the NYP report has effectively completely exonerated him. In addition, as a result of this blatantly flawed report, North Yorkshire Police has also exonerated itself from its failure to arrest either Jaconelli (Operation Yewtree Tier 2), or Savile (Operation Yewtree Tier 1) and from any failure to pass on the intelligence it had allegedly gathered on Savile during the 2003 investigation to the Surrey investigation, whilst leaving the key questions posed above unanswered.
To try and resolve this, I wrote to the IPCC with a FOI request asking for a copy of the report. My request was ignored.
I also e-mailed North Yorkshire Police in the following terms:
“I read with great interest the statement issued by Deputy Chief Constable Madgwick that the IPCC were to take no action over the failure of North Yorkshire Police to detect Jimmy Savile’s offending, or that of Peter Jaconelli. Please could you provide:
1. A copy of the report sent by North Yorkshire Police to the IPCC.
2. An explanation for the failure of North Yorkshire Police to arrest Peter Jaconelli.
3. Confirmation of why North Yorkshire Police did not interview all of the witnesses.
4. An explanation of why North Yorkshire Police Force Intelligence Bureau did not forward the intelligence on Jimmy Savile it had gathered as a result of the Rutter and White investigation in 2003.”
The response on the 11th of November was “Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000”. I will update you with their response once it has been received.
I have received no response from Chief Constable Dave Jones concerning this important local issue, although one was requested, nor has anyone responded to my open letter: http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/jaconelli-open-letter-n-yorks-chief-constable-dave-jones
However, I did receive a letter from no less a person than Tim Madgwick, the Deputy Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, in which he stated that I had “recently sent and circularized or publicized, written material which contains comments or opinion regarding members of North Yorkshire Police and/or North Yorkshire Police operations and business…………..North Yorkshire Police reserve the right to take appropriate civil or criminal action in this regard.”
Deputy Chief Constable Madgwick did not specify any particular error, inaccuracy, or article that he took offence with, but nevertheless issued the above statement which appears to be a blanket objection to journalists expressing comments or opinions about North Yorkshire Police operations and any business that it doesn’t like.
The Scarborough News and Whitby Gazette do not do investigative journalism, so I am aware that North Yorkshire Police are not used to the degree of press scrutiny that is normal in other forces. Following on from Detective Superintendent Heather Pearson’s attempt to arrest me for writing articles for Real Whitby which were critical of North Yorkshire Police, I am also aware that they tend to get a bit hot under the collar when they are criticised by journalists, no matter how well intentioned or accurate the criticism is.
However, the policy of Real Whitby is that if anyone objects to anything on the website they have a right of reply and we will always issue a retraction and apology if we are in the wrong. Alternatively they can sue for libel. Whilst the implication that North Yorkshire Police failed to detect Britain’s most prolific paedophile (Savile) and Britain’s most successful paedophile (Jaconelli) is not one that any Chief Police Officer wants to hear, in my view intimidating journalists by threatening them with arrest is unacceptable in a democratic society. It is an attack on free speech and the freedom of the press, and an abuse of Police powers.
There must be full and open disclosure of what went wrong – no matter how painful it is – if we are to learn the lessons of the Savile affair and prevent it from happening again.
Anything which prevents this is contrary to the public interest. In particular, I have been asked to give evidence on Savile to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and the NHS investigation into Rampton by Ms Kate Lampard QC. How can I do that when I am being threatened with arrest by North Yorkshire Police if I comment on their investigation to these bodies?
Having exonerated itself with its report, North Yorkshire Police declined to comment on this article and continues to maintain its right to silence on its failure to arrest Jaconelli and Savile. Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan also declined to comment.
Councillor Tom Fox has also consistently declined to comment on Alderman Jaconelli.
Perhaps someone can explain to me why North Yorkshire Police can’t issue a full public statement as West Yorkshire Police did. In contrast, Assistant Chief Constable Ingrid Lee of West Yorkshire Police had the courage to stand up and defend her force’s findings publicly, which is to be respected. If the concerns raised by Real Whitby and others are unfounded, why is it that no Chief Police Officer from North Yorkshire Police will not do the same?