DISGRACED Jimmy Savile was “always surrounded” by young women, even in the early days of his career.

Those are the words of a former top policeman, now living in Dorset, who knew the DJ and TV presenter during his time as manager at the Mecca Locarno club in Leeds in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Ken Brown, who lives in Westbourne, was a CID officer in Leeds at the time – he later became deputy chief constable of Dorset before finishing his career as acting chief commissioner of Hong Kong.

He said he did not believe the women were under-age but told the Daily Echo: “Obviously youngsters gravitated to a disco called the Mecca Locarno there and Jimmy was the guy who spun the discs.

“He was personable, but he was always rather full of bravado in so far as you never really knew him. I said to him on one occasion why did he always have young women with him?

“All of that meant nothing then but now of course it begins to make sense. He was always surrounded by young women.”

It comes after claims at the weekend that Savile tried to cover up alleged sex attacks while he was manager of the Locarno.

There have been reports that former doorman Dennis Lemmon said he was told that Savile paid off families to escape criminal charges.

Mr Brown, who now teaches law to trainee journalists in Bournemouth, added: “My acquaintance was on a professional basis, but I had no knowledge (of any abuse) at all; however, he was always surrounded by young people.

“He came across as a complex person.

“It never crossed my mind – he was in a club where young people went. I also saw him with young people in his car.”

Savile has several links to Bournemouth.

Last week, the Daily Echo reported how the Norwegian Wood cafe, which he once owned, was removing his name from its menus.

Savile worked at nightclubs nearby and occasionally visited the cafe. It is believed he owned the block which houses it when it was a nightclub complex in the 1960s and 1970s. He bought a flat on the East Cliff in the early 1970s. It was sold last year when he died.

Scotland Yard is now investigating 340 lines of inquiry in the Savile abuse case.