A North-East commuter claims he spotted a cheetah-like big cat on his way home last night.

Steven Mathieson spotted the creature near New Byth in Aberdeenshire as he drove from Aberdeen to Macduff.

The financial adviser said he could not believe his eyes when his headlights picked out the animal's eyes in a field at the edge of the road at about 8.30pm.

"I can't believe I saw it," he said. "I drive along that road every day and I've never seen anything like that, although I'm usually a bit earlier.

"It didn't get scared by the car. I saw its eyes looking into the lights and then it looked away.

"It reminded me of a cheetah. I dinnae ken about cats but it moved like one. It was dark with short hair."

Family and friends suggested he had seen a deer or a fox but it wasn't either of those, he said, adding that it was bigger than his pet boxer dog, Benson. "It was really tall."

Mr Mathieson, of High Street, said: "I was just so gobsmacked that I had seen something like this here."

He added he would be watching the road carefully in future for any more glimpses of the mystery cat.

Mr Mathieson was driving via New Deer on the B9170 and B9027.

In October, a leopard-like big cat was spotted near Cruden Bay and a number of possible sightings of the "Beast of Buchan" were reported last summer near Fraserburgh.