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More big cats lead to call for police to patrol Gloucester

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 20, 2012

STARTLED:  John Wildsmith.

STARTLED: John Wildsmith.

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THREE new big cat sightings have been reported in Gloucester during the last week – prompting calls for police to patrol urban areas to keep people safe.

Panther-like creatures have been reported in areas including Hempsted, Barnwood and Kingsway.

John Wildsmith, 55, of Hempsted Lane, was left startled when he saw a big cat the "size of an Alsatian dog" prowling menacingly on fields behind his back garden.

He saw it at around 10pm last Monday from an upstairs bedroom window.

"It was jet black, with a big curly tail," he said.

"It sat there for around 10 minutes. I didn't take a snap because I didn't want to startle it, but I wish I had."

Chris Linker, from Coney Hill, called The Citizen after seeing a big cat bound across Barnwood Road, near the Wall's roundabout at 5.30am on Thursday.

"It went across the road in two leaps, then over a gate," he said. "It was long and black, with a long tail. I'm not 100 per cent sure it was a cat but it's hard to see what else it could have been. It could be a danger to pets and children."

Brian Thell, 51, of Thatcham Avenue, Kingsway, said he spotted a big cat prowling around his back garden.

He said: "Last Tuesday morning I was up at 5.30am and in the back garden I am sure I saw something that looked like a panther – it prowling around and as soon as I could get a camera it cleared off.

"I couldn't believe it. I went to work and was quite shaken as I got to the car."

Mr Thell said he wanted to see police patrolling urban areas.

"I don't know whether to tell The Citizen or the police," he said.

"I reckon the police need to patrol the area, this kind of cat looks like it could so some damage."

Big cat sightings have rocketed since the National Trust and Warwick University conducted tests for DNA on two deer carcasses found near Woodchester and Dursley in January.

Video footage taken by Stroud teaching assistant Coryn Memory which showed what could be a big cat near Stroud, has sparked national interest.

Sightings and deer carcass finds have been reported in Woodchester, Nailsworth, Rendcomb, Bishop's Cleeve, Nottingham Hill, Upton St Leonards, and Coopers Edge.

A Gloucestershire police spokeswoman said: "There remains nothing to suggest any potential threat of harm to the public, but should any information come to light that causes concern Gloucestershire police will take the appropriate action, based on evidence provided to us, in partnership with organisations, such as Natural England and Defra."

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  • Ysedra  |  March 18 2013, 8:55AM

    How did I manage to not see this story before now? Just lucky, I guess. I would rather be luckier, and able to see page three of the news, though. Still, congratulations to Martin Surl and the Gloucestershire Constabulary. Big cat attacks on people still holding steady at no percent.

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  • dawn957  |  February 20 2012, 9:25PM

    brian you should tell frank

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  • dawn957  |  February 20 2012, 9:23PM

    the rabbits are still on walls roundabout.no signs of a bones flying fur e.t.c.im sure if any big cat was lurking there it would of stopped for dinner and the bunnies would move.

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  • dawn957  |  February 20 2012, 9:19PM

    john wildsmith,so you would startle the cat.what do you think it could do as you looked out of your bedroom window

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  • TimMessanger  |  February 20 2012, 8:45PM

    public (basically public retail connections, Talk Talk, Virgin, BT etc Not dedicated connections such as in a dater centre) electronic communications network. If the server is based in another jurisdiction there is NOTHING that can be done within the UK. Public order could be a better bet as the section 127 cases I've seen so far are flawed due to the fact that the prosecution has NOT provided evidence of the use of a PECN and as such no evidence has been submitted to court to justify a section 127 prosecution. I found this though "Collins laid down additional elements to the offence in the Communications Act 2003. The House of Lords stated that to be guilty of the offence, one must to demonstrate (a) an intention to be grossly offensive or (b) aware that they may be taken so: Mr Perry, for the Director, relying by analogy on section 6(4) of the Public Order Act 1986, suggested that the defendant must intend his words to be grossly offensive to those to whom they relate, or be aware that they may be taken to be so… I would accept Mr Perry's submission. A panel of five of the House of Lords, with Lord Bingham writing the leading judgment, also decided it was not enough that there was an intention to be offensive or aware that the words could be taken as offensive but also it was required that a reasonable person should find the words used to be grossly offensive. Lord Bingham in Collins wrote: I conclude that the respondent's messages were grossly offensive and would be found by a reasonable person to be so. Since they were sent by the respondent by means of a public electronic communications network they fall within the section. It follows that the respondent should have been convicted. For many, trolling is an act that is performed anonymously as some websites do not require signing up and providing personal details in order to contribute. Comments are either denoted by 'Anonymous' or by a screen name which is not linked to any sort of personal details other than an IP address."

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  • piranha123  |  February 20 2012, 7:46PM

    I have just seen a massive rat in Gloucester just tried to sell me petrol at £1.38 no chance

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  • TimMessanger  |  February 20 2012, 7:39PM

    BTW @who1else - Can you prove that "the Big Cheese" uses a PECN? If he used an ECN then a section 127 offence has not been committed no matter what he/she has said to offend you or others.

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  • TimMessanger  |  February 20 2012, 7:30PM

    Trolling can rise to the level of criminal an offence under Section 127 (1) (a) of the Communications Act 2003 – Improper use of public electronic communications network – if the conduct is sufficiently serious. Section 127 (1) (a) of the Communications Act 2003 states: (1) A person is guilty of an offence if he— (a) sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character

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  • Aston_Martin  |  February 20 2012, 6:44PM

    crackpot calling the kettle black LOLOLOL

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  • Panthera_Noir  |  February 20 2012, 6:39PM

    Kay, absolutely correct but then you wouldn't expect anything else from an expert on the subject would you?

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