Saturday 09th December 2023,
North Yorks Enquirer



  • an “In My View” article by NIGEL WARD, up-dating readers on events surrounding the SAVILE/JACONELLI cover-up in Scarborough.


Throughout the two-and-a-half years of first Real Whitby (RW) then the North Yorks Enquirer (NYE) pursuing the activities of Sir Jimmy SAVILE and former Scarborough Mayor Peter JACONELLI [Con.], it has been interesting to observe the extraordinary reluctance of our local authorities (including the North Yorkshire Police) to acknowledge a matter of the commonest knowledge of over half a century’s standing.

Following reports published by myself and fellow citizen-journalist Tim HICKS on the Real Whitby Magazine, two JACONELLI victims came forward with personal allegations not only against JACONELLI but also alleging a cover-up by Scarborough Council and the North Yorkshire Police.

Trevor HARRINGTON, a former Scarborian now living in Perth, Western Australia, made his allegations formally, in writing, to Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) Chief Executive Officer Jim DILLON, who (true to form) ignored him.

But it was former Councillor Geoff EVANS [LibDem] whose allegations were published in the Scarborough News on 22nd February 2013 under the title “Ex-mayor was a sex pest, says councillor”, and this – finally – brought the JACONELLI allegations to the top of the local government agenda.


On 28th March 2013, SBC Head of Legal Services, Mrs Lisa DIXON, threatened myself, Tim HICKS, Tim THORNE and the Real Whitby Magazine webmaster with legal action, both civil and criminal, and demanded that the Real Whitby internet service provider (ISP) “terminate” the Real Whitby Magazine web-site.

When challenged to produce any evidence to support her allegations, Lisa DIXON fell silent.

Despite the publication of this and many more articles (both in print-media and on the internet) pressing the case for a full investigation of our allegations (including that Peter JACONELLI and Jimmy SAVILE operated together, within a ring of paedophiles in Scarborough, it was only following the television broadcast of the BBC ‘Inside Out’ documentary (almost one year later on 10th February 2014) that the authorities began to take seriously the allegations of dozens of victims of Peter JACONELLI.

The same BBC documentary elicited a denial from SBC that an attempt had been made to “terminate” Real Whitby – and presenter Chris JACKSON promptly produced a copy of DIXON’s letter to the Real Whitby ISP demanding the “termination” of Real Whitby, thus proving her a liar.

On 3rd April 2014, ITV News reported that the North Yorks Police had referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in respect of perceived failings in the force’s historical response to allegations against Jimmy SAVILE and Peter JACONELLI.

The then-Leader of Scarborough Borough Council , Councillor Tom FOX [Con.] (who has since stepped down from the rôle following the May 2015 elections, and been installed as Mayor of the Borough following a circumvention of the SBC Constitution) is shown making the first suggestion that JACONELLI’s civic honours (Mayor and Alderman) should be revoked.

And, yay, it came to pass that, on 12th May 2014, JACONELLI’s civic honours were revoked:

But it was not until 18th December last year (2014) that the Daily Mail reported a spokesperson for the North Yorkshire Police (NYP) announcing that NYP had identified 32 cases attributable to JACONELLI, between 1958 and 1998, which included allegations of indecent assault, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, gross indecency and rape. The Scarborough News carried a similar report:

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That same day, Sky News showed Assistant Chief Constable Paul KENNEDY faced the TV cameras to utter the clearest acknowledgement yet of Peter JACONELLI’s crimes – he actually said “Sorry!”:

Many people take the view that saying “Sorry!” is nothing more than an empty gesture.

It is true that “Sorry!” affords no justice; it affords no redress for the horrific psychological trauma experienced by victims of sexual abuse. It does not wind back the clock or eradicate the crimes.

What is does achieve is an acknowledgement that Peter JACONELLI’s many breaches of the public trust in his rôles both at Scarborough Council (where he was a long-standing Conservative Councillor, Mayor and Alderman) and at North Yorkshire County Council, really did take place. It is thus a legitimisation of genuine grievances long unacknowledged (though unaddressed) by the authorities until first the Real Whitby Magazine and subsequently the North Yorks Enquirer forced their hands.

It is also an admission of massive systemic failure on the part of the North Yorkshire Police – not a failure in some trivial point of detail but a complete wipe-out that allowed SAVILE and JACONELLI to depart this life without ever facing justice.


On 18th January 2015, Tim HICKS and me were served with legal papers – a civil claim of harassment by nine private individuals, financed by the North Yorkshire Police under the authorisation of Police & Crime Commissioner Julia MULLIGAN [Con.], with the objective of succeeding (where SBC’s Lisa DIXON had failed) in silencing us and having our reports removed from both the Real Whitby Magazine and the North Yorks Enquirer“censorship by the back door”, as one national crime reporter described it;  a re-writing of history.

Seemingly, SBC and NYP have in common the fact that they both would prefer a culture in which there were no investigative journalists, no public scrutiny, no transparency at all. A truth black-out.

So it came as no surprise when on 7th July 2015, the Yorkshire Post reported that the IPCC had concluded its investigations into a unnamed serving North Yorkshire Police Officer whose failings allowed evidence provided by a 15-year-old girl victim of Jimmy SAVILE to be inadequately logged, thus squandering a golden opportunity to arrest SAVILE – with the concomitant possibility of rounding up the rest of the Scarborough ring, including Peter JACONELLI. The Officer was not, however, deemed guilty of gross misconduct. His pension will be unaffected.

However, IPCC Commissioner Carl GUMSLEY conceded that:

  • “North Yorkshire Police has previously admitted that they missed opportunities to look into allegations against both Savile and Jaconelli while they were alive.”

Result? Total vindication for the Real Whitby Magazine and the North Yorks Enquirer; total escape for the Officers who “missed opportunities”.

So it is now beyond contention that the allegations that Tim HICKS and I have been publishing since October 2012 are true: JACONELLI was a predatory paedophile and child-rapist. He committed his offences whilst holding prominent positions of public trust (including School Governorships and his judo club) and he did so with total impunity. We were right all along. Trevor HARRINGTON was right. Former Councillor Geoff EVANS was right. Public reaction has been predictable for the simple reason that everyone knew we were right.


But we know from many victims/survivors that complaints were made not only to the Scarborough Police – where our incumbent Mayor Councillor Tom FOX [Con.] served much of his policing career – but also to serving Councillors of more than one Council (and of more than one political persuasion).

What about the failure of those Police Officers and Councillors to carry forward the victims/survivors’ allegations, through to criminal charges, convictions and long custodial sentences? Surely their inaction amounts to complicity in the original crimes? Surely it amounts to a perversion of the course of justice?


On 30th June 2015, I published an Open Letter to County Councillor Carl LES [Con.], Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, at the sharp end of which I requested that:

  • “the victims of Peter JACONELLI – who can never receive the natural justice owed to them – do, at least, receive a long-overdue expression of apology from North Yorkshire County Council and, with it, the all-important sense of ultimate vindication that, for so long and for so many, has been withheld by your hapless colleagues at Scarborough Borough Council.”

For me, the outcome was never in doubt; the facts are a matter of record. So, following an amicable and co-operative meeting with Carl LES one month later, on Friday 31st July 2015, I was not in the least surprised to receive his response, which I duly published on Saturday 1st August 2015. This is the line that has meant so much to so many:

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

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Not only does this simple expression of genuine regret provide vindication to those who, having been abused, were disbelieved (or fobbed off with a pretence of disbelief), they can at least – and at long last – know with certainty that their suffering has now been acknowledged. And, in these more ‘enlightened’ times, is regretted. Perhaps the Police Officers and Councillors in question will now come forward and express their own regret. Perhaps.

Carl LES’s use of the word “Sorry” also provides victims/survivors with a very human and unconditional acceptance of their truth; at last they are believed. They can now know that the ‘official’ record shows that they are not fantasists or liars; they are innocent human beings whose suffering was banished from the agenda solely to preserve the status (and liberty) of ruthless and brutal child-rapists who abused their positions of privilege, then perverted the course of justice with the able and complicit assistance of others, some of whom may be alive and in office today.

On the day following my publication of Carl LES’s apology, I published an Open Letter to Councillor Derek BASTIMAN [Con.], Leader of Scarborough Borough Council, at the sharp end of which I stated:

  • “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’.”

That was on 2nd August 2015. The following morning, 3rd August 2015, at 11:35am, I received a ‘read-receipt’.

As fate would have it, it was on this same day, 3rd August 2015, that the paedophilia allegations against former Prime Minister Edward HEATH [Con.] filled the newspapers.

On 5th August 2015, the Yorkshire Post published this by-now famous photo of HEATH and JACONELLI shaking hands in that special way, in an article entitled “Together: Jaconelli and Ted Heath as council says sorry over sex crimes they swept under carpet”.


On 6th August 6th 2015, North Yorkshire Police announced that the force was “undertaking a comprehensive search of force systems to assess if there is any information or intelligence held in relation to Mr Heath.”

These “force systems” are, no doubt, the same “force systems” that failed to record that Jimmy SAVILE had a home in Scarborough and a deep association with Peter JACONELLI. I say ‘no doubt’ because such was the conclusion of Assistant Chief Constable Sue CROSS’s Report (penned in just nine days) to the IPCC, who have conceded (see above) that allegations were indeed inadequately logged.

The overwhelming majority of these allegations concerned offences committed by SAVILE and JACONELLI and other members of the nine-strong paedophile ring believed to have included former County Councillor Raymond COATES (who faced serious sex charges in 2008 relating to historic cases of long-term sexual abuse spanning 24 years but was deemed, like Greville “Oooh! Ian’t it wonderful!”  JANNER, unfit to stand trial).

From 1974 to 1983, at the very height of JACONELLI’s offending, Leon BRITTAN [Con.], later to become Home Secretary [11th June 1983 – 2nd September 1985), was MP for Whitby & Cleveland and a frequent visitor to Scarborough & Whitby Conservative Association. BRITTAN certainly entertained JACONELLI (and Ted HEATH, when ‘Morning Cloud’ visited Whitby in the early ’70s) at his constituency home near Grosmont, 6 miles to the south-west of Whitby. BRITTAN subsequently held the Richmond seat, where he was followed by William HAGUE. (Google him).


Having interviewed a man who claims to have been buggered by Leon BRITTAN as a fifteen-year-old, taken out of a children’s home to a ritual, I have no doubts at all about BRITTAN’s predilections.

Harvey PROCTOR, born in Pontefract but schooled in Scarborough, was another former member of Scarborough & Whitby Conservative Association – joining at the age of fourteen whilst attending Scarborough High School for Boys (latterly, Graham School) where Peter JACONELLI served on the Board of Governors. In 1987, PROCTOR was convicted of charges relating to sado-sexual activities with under-age youths the previous year.


For a small town political group in the predominantly rural County of North Yorkshire, the Scarborough & Whitby Conservative Association has certainly embraced a disproportionately large number of thoroughly disreputable and depraved high-flyers – JACONELLI, COATES, BRITTAN and PROCTOR – not forgetting HEATH, against whom allegations of child-abuse in association with SAVILE at Haut de la Garenne in Jersey are now also in the frame. It was in 1971 that Edward HEATH proposed Jimmy SAVILE for his O.B.E., which he was awarded in 1972, the year Peter JACONELLI was made Mayor of Scarborough.

And HEATH is now under investigation by at least seven forces (including NYP) by Wiltshire Police’s Operation Hydrant – despite Wiltshire Police itself being presently under investigation by the IPCC over the mishandling of earlier allegations against HEATH when he was still alive. (He died aged 89 in 2005). Incompetence and/or complicity in child-abuse cases seems to be a feature common to a number of our Police forces.

Until recently, the Chair of the Scarborough & Whitby Conservative Association (SWCA) was none other than Scarborough Borough Councillor Derek BASTIMAN [Con.], now the Leader of Scarborough Borough Council and Leader of the Conservative Group – one of the men from whom I await a proper response. He is also a member of the Conservative Group at North Yorkshire County Council, where County Councillor Carl LES [Con.] is both County Council Leader and BASTIMAN’s Conservative Group Leader. He is also Chair of the North Yorkshire Police & Crime Panel, the body whose duties include holding Police & Crime Commissioner Julia MULLIGAN [Con.] to account.

It is Police & Crime Commissioner Julia MULLIGAN, the same lady who regards the IPCC as being not fit for purpose, who is duty-bound to hold the North Yorkshire Police to account.

It is the North Yorkshire Police whose duty it is to hold the paedophiles  (and their facilitators) to account. Well, that is the theory.

So whose duty is it to hold County Councillor Carl LES to account? That’s right; the public.

Two full working weeks have elapsed now since I published my Open Letter to Derek BASTIMAN. He has offered no response at all.

Nor has he responded to Mike BECKETT’s Open Letter.

And former Councillor Mike WARD received no response to his plea for a “Sorry!” when Councillor Tom FOX was Leader.

How can that be?


Compare and contrast this stone-walling with the case of sex allegations against former Portsmouth City Councillor and MP Mike HANCOCK C.B.E., where leading Councillors have done the right thing and written to Home Secretary Theresa MAY, urging her to order an independent inquiry into why the Hampshire Constabulary has side-stepped three successive opportunities to prosecute HANCOCK, or ‘HANDYCOCK’, as he is widely known.


There can be no doubt about JACONELLI’s crimes. There can be no doubt that an apology from Scarborough Borough Council is long overdue. It becomes inescapable. So what is the rationale behind all the stone-walling?

The Assistant Chief Constable of the North Yorkshire Police, Paul KENNEDY, has said “Sorry!”.

The Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, Councillor Carl LES, has said “Sorry!”

The Leader of Scarborough Borough Council, Councillor Derek BASTIMAN, has said . . . absolutely nothing.


Could it be that his first loyalty is not to the people he was elected to serve; nor to the victims/survivors of the former Mayor, Peter JACONELLI [Con.]; nor even to his predecessor and mentor the present Mayor, Councillor Tom FOX [Con.] (whose knowledge, as a former leading Police Officer in Scarborough, of the depravity of his fellow politicos – JACONELLI, COATES, BRITTAN, PROCTOR and HEATH – must surely stand as the most complete purview over the activities of the Scarborough paedophile-ring that could reside in any one mind), but to the political establishment in general and the Scarborough & Whitby Conservative Association in particular?

What’s keeping you, Derek? Are your hands tied? Or has someone found a skelton in your cupboard?


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