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  1. ITV Report

Savile friend Jaconelli was charged with indecent assault in the 1970s

A former mayor and friend of sex predator Jimmy Savile was charged with indecent assault in the 1970s, it has been revealed.

Ex Scarborough mayor Peter Jaconelli and Savile were suspected of being involved in the abuse of 35 young victims as part of a paedophile ring operating in the North Yorkshire seaside resort.

The pair died before the abuse allegations came to light.

Savile, a Radio 1 DJ who also presented the BBC's Top of the Pops and Jim'll Fix It, died aged 84 in October 2011 - a year before allegations that he had sexually abused children were broadcast in an ITV documentary.

Jaconelli was mayor of Scarborough, North Yorks., in the 1970s and died in 1999 aged 73.

He was stripped of his civic honours by the town council last year after the child sex abuse allegations came to light.

Now the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have said ice-cream magnate Jaconelli was charged with indecent assault offence and a case file relating to him was passed to its predecessor body, the Director of Public Prosecution's (DPP) office, in 1972.

But the CPS, which formed in 1986, says its records do not show whether a prosecution was authorised or whether the charge was dropped.

It is not known which police force carried out the criminal investigation that led to the charge.

A police investigation into Jaconelli - who had an ice-cream parlour in the seaside town - revealed last year that he would have faced a string of charges relating to abuse in Scarborough between 1958 and 1998 if he was still alive.

Dozens of victims came forward to report historic sexual abuse by Jaconelli and Savile after the broadcast of the TV documentary Inside Out.

After launching an investigation into the abuse, dubbed Operation Hibiscus, North Yorkshire Police apologised to victims, but made no mention of Jaconelli being charged with any offence.

Assistant chief constable Paul Kennedy said at the time: "The available information indicates that, historically, the police missed opportunities to look into allegations against these men whilst they were still alive."

The revelation that he was charged with indecent assault in 1972 was made by the CPS after a request made under the Freedom of Information Act.

A spokeswoman for the CPS said in a statement: "This matter predates the formation of the CPS in 1986. CPS does however hold limited information regarding a record of cases received by the former DPP's Office.

"This was transferred to the CPS upon formation in 1986. Our records show that a case file relating to Peter Jaconelli, charged with indecent assault, was sent to the DPP's Office in 1972.

"The records do not show whether a prosecution was authorised or whether the charge was subsequently dropped."

She added: "The CPS is unable to confirm from the record held, which police force had been responsible for the investigation."

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "North Yorkshire Police is liaising with the Crown Prosecution Service to assess this information. Until we have had the necessary time to complete enquiries, it would not be appropriate to comment further."

In July, a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found that a North Yorkshire Police detective failed to submit an intelligence report about Savile and Jaconelli after allegations were made against them.

But the watchdog said there was no misconduct case to answer because the claims were examined "diligently".

The IPCC investigation concluded the detective sergeant, a constable based at Scarborough/Filey CID at the time, investigated "diligently and professionally" in relation to both cases.