A PEST controller has found 'Britain's biggest rat' behind a Bournemouth bin.

Professional rat-catcher Terry Walker found the creature, which measures some 21 inches from nose to tail, behind commercial premises in the town.

Mr Walker would not be drawn on the location where the rat was found. However, just last year, he caught a 19-inch rat in Poole.

The 53-year-old was working with rescue dog Max when the pair caught the enormous rodent behind shops.

It is believed to be the biggest rat caught in the UK.

"I found this one at the back of a property in a road in Bournemouth. It's a bit of a troubled spot," he said.

"There are lots of vacant properties and commercial kitchens, it's a very industrious area.

"I had my dog Max with me. He's good at sniffing out the source of entry at properties. I was clearing some debris at the back of the building and this rat bolted out of it.

"Max reacted very quickly and just grabbed hold of it and shook it, killing it."

The creature was more than double the weight of the average rat, tipping the scales at about 650g.

"Looking at it I could tell it was one of the biggest I'd seen so I decided to get the tape measure out and it was 21 inches, the biggest I've ever caught," Mr Walker said.

"The weight of it was absolutely unbelievable, it was so heavy."

Mr Walker, the manager of TP Pest Control Services, has more than 20 years of experience as a rat-catcher.

Bournemouth's pest problems are getting worse, he said.

"Most of my work now is rats and it's growing year on year," he said.

Not long after catching the 19-inch rodent in January last year, Mr Walker caught a second rat - another giant measuring around 16 inches long - at a food establishment near Poole High Street.