Ex-mayor was a sex pest, says councillor

Cllr Geoff Evans with a picture of himself aged 14, when he claims he was "propositioned" by Peter Jaconelli. Picture by Richard Ponter 130815a''Below: Peter Jaconelli.
Cllr Geoff Evans with a picture of himself aged 14, when he claims he was "propositioned" by Peter Jaconelli. Picture by Richard Ponter 130815a''Below: Peter Jaconelli.

A Scarborough councillor has spoken out about how he was “propositioned” at the age of 14 by former mayor and ice cream king Peter Jaconelli.

Cllr Geoff Evans, now 64, claims the late 21-stone politician inappropriately embraced him when he visited his ice cream parlour in the early 1960s.

Peter Jaconelli

Peter Jaconelli

He said: “It was quite obvious what he was doing.

“I was quite surprised as it was in the middle of his shop while someone else was serving.

“I managed to get free and I didn’t tell anyone. I was rather surprised as I didn’t think men did things like that. I didn’t even know him.

“In reality I was actually quite lucky because it hadn’t gone any further.”

Like disgraced TV star Jimmy Savile, Cllr Evans believes Jaconelli preyed on young children during the 1950s to 1970s and possibly beyond.

He claims authorities, including the police and council, were aware of the issue but did not take any action.

Now, he is calling for other victims to come forward in an attempt to strip Jaconelli of his honorary alderman title in line with a similar move to remove Savile’s freeman of the borough status.

The late BBC presenter will have his honour formally revoked at tomorrow’s full council meeting, following a motion from leader Cllr Tom Fox.

He said: “With Jimmy Savile there wasn’t any police prosecution, but hundreds of people came forward and spoke up so that evidence base couldn’t be ignored.

“There must be quite a number of people walking around who have had encounters with Jaconelli and it’s up to them to come forward so action can be taken.

“By speaking out I hope it will encourage other people to tell their story.”

Cllr Evans, who represents the Eastfield ward on Scarborough Council, decided to come forward after being party to an email which alleged Jaconelli was a “predatory paedophile”.

The sensational claims were made by former resident Trevor Harrington in a letter to the authority’s chief executive Jim Dillon, which has been obtained by The Scarborough News.

“Proud Scarborian” Mr Harrington, who now lives in Australia, wrote that he was a member of Jaconelli’s Ippon Judo Club and also worked in his ice cream parlours.

Also calling for his alderman status to be revoked, he said: “I can confirm from personal experience that he was a predatory paedophile who preyed on local children.”

Jaconelli ran a hugely ­successful ice cream business with several restaurants. Known as ­the town’s Ice Cream King, he died in 1999, aged 73.

As Mayor of Scarborough in 1970, he entered the Guinness Book of Records for guzzling 512 oysters in 48 minutes and 42 seconds.

In the BBC TV show Savile’s Travels, the DJ and Jaconelli, who were good friends, went on to the mat for a judo session.

A spokesman for Scarborough Council said: “The allegations circulated are being taken extremely seriously and those which have come to the attention of Scarborough Borough Council have been referred to North Yorkshire Police.

“The council will also be advising Cllr Evans to go to the police with any evidence he may have to substantiate the specific allegations he has made against the late Peter Jaconelli and the “cover-up” he alleges took place.

“If members of the public believe they have information or evidence regarding similar conduct, it should also be reported to the police.”