Councillor rapped for comments about Jaconelli abuse victims

A Conservative councillor has apologised for comments he made in relation to the victims of abuse at the hands of Peter Jaconelli and Jimmy Savile.

Friday, 26th February 2016, 8:45 am
Updated Friday, 26th February 2016, 8:50 am
Scarborough Town Hall

Mulgrave ward's John Nock was overheard before a full council meeting in October last year trying to make a distinction between the victims of Savile and Jaconelli and their ages.

Cllr Nock was overheard arguing that Jaconelli was interested in older children compared the disgraced former Top of the Pops host.

The two councillors who overheard his remarks claimed he used "crude" language to make his point,

John Nock

Cllr Nock also claimed that the ones making the complaint were, in fact, the ones bringing the council into disrepute. He said he was not condoning the actions of either Savile or Jaconelli and expressed remorse for his actions.

In the minutes of Tuesday's Standards Committee meeting, it states: "Councillor John Nock explained that he believed he was having a dispassionate discussion about what Peter Jaconelli’s behaviour should be described as, admitting that he was playing devil’s advocate by drawing a distinction between Savile and Jaconelli’s respective targets.

"In strict terms, this made Savile a paedophile, and Jaconelli a hebephile. Councillor Nock went on to deny vehemently the wording which had been attributed to him in the complaint, including the use of crude, colloquial language to describe Jaconelli’s activities."

It adds: " He also felt that distorting a private conversation and then divulging it externally was what brought the Council into disrepute.

John Nock

"Councillor Nock concluded by commenting that he regretted the conversation, he had no desire to upset the two complainants, and that he was in no way condoning Jaconelli’sbehaviour.

"He acknowledged that he had been unwise to engage in the conversation with the complainant, and would be more careful in future."

The standards committee found that Cllr Nock had acted inappropriately in making the comments at a time when he was acting as a councillor.

The committee accepted his apology and found he was remorseful and not condoning the actions of the former Scarborough Mayor but Cllr Nock will be referred to the Conservative group for it to take further action against him.