Jaconelli headstone gone from grave

Jaconelli's headstone has been removed from his grave
Jaconelli's headstone has been removed from his grave

Suspected child rapist Peter Jaconelli’s headstone has been removed from his Scarborough grave.

It comes after North Yorkshire Police confirmed that had the disgraced former mayor still been alive, he and close friend Jimmy Savile - who is also buried in an unmarked grave just yards away at Woodlands Cemetery - would have been arrested for abusing dozens of children between them.

It’s not yet known when or why the monument was removed, or who was behind the decision.

However, one of Jaconelli’s alleged victims told The Scarborough News that it was only a matter of time before the town started trying to erase the ice cream magnate from history.

“For years everyone knew about Jaconelli, but with the police finally bringing all of this up and exposing him at last, he’s quickly become a hate figure in Scarborough, just like Savile,” said the victim, who asked not to be named.

“It’s easy to imagine someone who still holds a grudge against him to want to deface it, so I’m not surprised in the slightest this has happened.”

The Glasgow-born judoka was laid to rest in the plot - which overlooks a school - in 1999 after his death at the age of 73.

The plot is also the resting place of Jaconelli’s wife Anna.

Yet this week his surviving family claimed they were “shocked” by the police’s allegations against the former prominent councillor - despite those with ties to him claiming his crimes were “Scarborough’s worst kept secret”.

And in light of what police claim is “overwhelming” evidence against Jaconelli, his nephew Denis said that the family were now beginning to doubt his innocence.

“Peter Jaconelli is not here to defend himself, but we have to have confidence in what the police are saying - it is shocking and traumatic,” admitted 63-year-old Denis, speaking on behalf of the family.

“We are family people ourselves and abhor anything like this.

“If he did do anything like this it would be despicable, but it was certainly not obvious to us.”

However, sources with ties close to Peter Jaconelli’s old seafront parlour claim his abuse was obvious to many in the town.

And Ian Shimmin from the Scarborough abuse charity Hope added: “Everyone who lived in Scarborough at the time knew Jaconelli was a serial abuser.”

He added that his vulnerable victims would be paid cash by the once aspiring opera singer in exchange for seedy favours.

“They called it ‘tapping up fat Jac’, added Mr Shimmin, who claims members of a paedophile ring headed by Jaconelli and Savile - dubbed the “seafront mafia” - are still at large.

And even before the conclusion on the 10-month long police investigation which exposed an apparent sordid lust for boys, Scarborough Council already started the process of removing him from the town’s memory.

Councillors agreed to posthumously strip Jaconelli of his honorary Alderman status in 2013.

Jimmy Savile’s headstone - which including the epitaph “It was good while it lasted” - was removed from Woodlands in 2012,

The tombstone, which was adorned with Savile’s face, was removed under the cover of darkness to protect the ”dignity and sanctity” of the cemetery.