Tuesday 23rd April 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

JACONELLI: An Open Letter to SBC Leader Derek BASTIMAN

JACONELLI: An Open Letter to SBC Leader Derek BASTIMAN

  • an “In My View” article by NIGEL WARD, following a successful appeal to NYCC Leader County Councillor Carl LES, addressing the same request for an apology to the victims of Peter JACONELLI to SBC Leader Councillor Derek BASTIMAN (who is also a County Councillor – a member of the Conservative Group at NYCC, led by County Councillor LES).



Following a successful appeal to NYCC Leader Carl LES to offer an apology to the victims of predatory paedophile and child-rapist Peter JACONELLI, I have now written to SBC Leader Councillor Derek BASTIMAN in much the same vein.

The Letter
——– Original Message ——–

Subject: JACONELLI: An Open Letter to SBC Leader Derek BASTIMAN
Date: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 19:06:21 +0100
From: Nigel
To: Cllr.Derek Bastiman <Cllr.Derek.Bastiman@scarborough.gov.uk>
CC: LISA DIXON <Lisa.Dixon@scarborough.gov.uk>, “Jim.Dillon@scarborough.gov.uk” <Jim.Dillon@scarborough.gov.uk>, Michael Beckett

Councillor Derek BASTIMAN – Leader – Scarborough Borough Council


Cc: Mrs Lisa DIXON– Director of legal & Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer – SBC

Cc: Mr Michael BECKETT – Liberal Democrat PPC – Scarborough & Whitby


An Open Letter


May I refer you first to my Open Letter to North Yorkshire County Council Leader, County Councillor Carl LES, published on 30th June 2015, requesting an apology on behalf of the victims of County Councillor Peter JACONELLI for the harm and distress visited upon them by a prominent member of the County Council and your own Council (and Party), where the thoroughly discredited paedophile and child-rapist was formerly a Scarborough Councillor, Mayor and Alderman:


When you have read and digested my letter to County Councillor Carl LES, whom I visited at County Hall in company with Mr Michael BECKETT, Liberal Democrat PPC for Scarborough & Whitby (himself an acknowledged survivor of child sexual abuse) on Friday of 31st July 2015, may I also refer you to his formal response to me of the same date:


Thousands of Enquirer readers and social-media users have welcomed Carl’s apology; a very few are more cynical, suggesting that I have been smooth-talked by a consummate politician; suggesting that Northallerton is safely remote from the scene of JACONELLI’s predations (and, by extension, irrelevant); suggesting that a mere apology changes nothing.

I reject that view.

Speaking to some of the victims and survivors over the past few days, it is now eminently clearly to me that the word “sorry” means a great deal, because it both acknowledges and legitimises their grievances.

It says, in effect, “You were right all along; we were wrong – ‘the system’ let you down”.

My colleague Tim HICKS and I have been steadfast in exposing Peter JACONELLI’s grotesque criminal depravity through the pages of the Real Whitby Magazine and the North Yorks Enquirer, since October 2012, despite the abortive attempts of your Director of Legal & Democratic Services to silence us.

Since February 2013, when then-Councillor Geoff EVANS (Scarborough Borough Council) publicly denounced Peter JACONELLI via the pages of the Scarborough News, and proud Scarborian Trevor HARRINGTON compounded Councillor EVANS’ allegations in a formal letter to your Chief Executive Jim DILLON – though, inexplicably, the latter did not bring the matter to Full Council, as his Constitution required – it has been beyond doubt that the common knowledge in Scarborough, over five decades, was absolutely accurate. No worldly adult – and only the most guileless teenager – was unaware of JACONELLI’s predilections. It was an open secret.

Following the BBC ‘Inside Out’ coverage of our efforts, the North Yorkshire Police subsequently established Operation Hibiscus as a localised instantiation of Operation Yewtree, tasked with the investigation of a large number of allegations against Peter JACONELLI (and others).

In February 2014, BBC ‘Inside Out’ presenter Chris JACKSON demonstrated unequivocally that our allegations were valid and correct:


On 12th May 2014, the Scarborough News reported that the North Yorkshire Police, pursuant to the BBC vindication of our allegations, and having reported itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), finally conceded that:

“Such is the nature of the evidence that, if he were alive today, Peter Jaconelli would have been interviewed under caution and a file of evidence would have been submitted for consideration by the Crown Prosecution Service.”

The York Press further confirmed that:

[SBC] Council leader Tom Fox said Jaconelli’s name would be taken off of the honours boards at the town hall and that he should not be referred to as a former mayor.”

On Boxing Day 2014, it was announced in the regional press, by Assistant Chief Constable Paul KENNEDY of the North Yorkshire Police, that the Operation Hibiscus investigations had entirely vindicated our long-standing allegations. He stated:

“Today, North Yorkshire Police apologises to the victims who made the brave decision to come forward during the past 18 months.”

On Friday 31st July 2014, County Councillor Carl LES issued a statement including a personal apology, the kernel of which reads:

“I am sorry for the hurt that has been caused to the victims, survivors and their families.

In the aftermath of the horrendous disclosures in Rotherham and elsewhere, it has become clear that Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council resisted calls for an apology through fear of legal culpability. Their insurers, fearing massive compensation claims, brought pressure to bear on the Council to deny everything, admit nothing and bury their hands in the sand.

How foolish. And cowardly.

Child sexual abuse is not a matter of money.

So I would hope that you can readily discern and acknowledge that the issue here is not one of compensation; a lifetime’s anguish and distress is beyond the scope of financial restitution.

The issue is one of human dignity.

To his great credit, County Councillor Carl LES, the Leader of North Yorkshire County Council – and your Leader, Derek, when you are wearing your County hat – has embraced that imperative and, setting aside any financial concerns, has uttered the one word that matters most – “sorry”.

This word stands conspicuous by its absence from the pronunciamenti of your predecessor as Leader, our incumbent Mayor Councillor Tom FOX – formerly (Acting) Chief Superintendent Tom FOX of the North Yorkshire Police, whose overview of force intelligence throughout the second half of Peter JACONELLI’s reign of horror must surely be without equal.

So when I call upon you, as I do now, to offer the victims – the survivors – of Peter JACONELLI’s crimes – and, of course, their loved ones – your sincere expression of the word “sorry”, I also call upon you to prevail upon the Mayor to offer a personal expression of his own sorrow and regret, both on his own behalf and on that of such of his former colleagues at the North Yorkshire Police who fell short of the traditional policing motto* – “To Protect and Serve”.

Human dignity is at stake – not least, that of the Council, the Mayor and the Mayorship.

I look forward to your replies – and to publishing them into the public domain. Thank you for your consideration.

Yours, with very kind regards,


* – North Yorkshire Police presently upholds two mottos:

“Safer Neighbourhoods”


To deliver Modern Policing in a Traditional Way

NB: these replaced the former motto:

Reducing Crime and The Fear of Crime


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