A SCEPTICAL security guard says he now believes in Dorset’s big cat after spotting a beast near Winfrith.

Scott Pickersgill was driving near Wool when he saw the giant feline dart from the middle of the road into a nearby wood.

Father-of-two Scott, of Yalbury Lane, Crossways, said the encounter left him ‘absolutely gobsmacked’ and in no doubt of the cat’s existence.

Scott, 24, who works as a security guard at the Winfrith atomic site, said: “It was about 7pm on Sunday and I had just been to Wool to buy some baby formula.

“I was just passing the entrance to Winfrith and going past Gatemore Road when I came over the hill and saw it in the middle of the road.

“As soon as it saw me it span around and shot up into the woods.

“I saw the back of its legs and its rear end. It was grey with a white end to its tail and it stood above knee height.

“It was fully grey and it was definitely not a fox. It was feline.

“You could tell that from the way it was standing and the muscles in the back of its legs.

“I was absolutely gobsmacked.”

He added: “There’s a bloke at work who’s well into his big cat sightings but I always said to him I didn’t believe it.

“But after seeing it now I think I’ve definitely changed my mind.”

The sighting comes after a spate of recent sightings of large cats. Many who have seen creatures claim they are too big to be domestic cats.

Big cat researcher and author Merrily Harpur said: “It’s a very interesting sighting and I’m delighted to hear about it. There have been a lot of big cat sightings reported in that area over the years.

“One of the interesting things about big cats in Britain is that they are very variable in their colours.

“Around 85 per cent of sightings report a black cat but quite a few say they resemble a panther-like creature or are brown like a puma.

“But there’s a whole range of other animals that vary in colour from brindled to gingery.

“Anyone who glimpses these creatures for more than a few seconds is very lucky and I would urge people travelling in that area to carry a camera now in case it is spotted again.”