A Winsley couple had quite a shock when they encountered the infamous beast of Trowbridge on Saturday morning.

Herbert and Doreen Smith were walking in Murhill Woods, at around 10.30am, when they spotted the big black cat.

Down the years, the creature, which has been described as being a puma or a panther, has been spotted in Trowbridge, Staverton and Westbury Leigh amongst others places.

Mr Smith, 71, who lives in Winsley, said: “Our first impression was sheer astonishment, we really could not believe our eyes at what we were seeing. The animal was eating what we believe it had just caught.

“There was a lot of rabbits about so I expect it was having breakfast. I was about 20ft away from it whilst it was eating, it looked up at me for a couple of seconds then resumed eating.

"If it wasn't for my wife tugging at my arm to get me out of there, I would of stayed observing this magnificent animal.”

For the full story, see this Friday’s Wiltshire Times.