A kind-hearted cook decided to let an elderly lobster loose rather than put it in the pot.

The creature, aged around 50, was freed by Geoff Dixon manager of The King Prawn Company.

He was offered the massive creature for sale but, moved by its old age and impressive stature, he decided to set it free instead of feeding it to hungry customers.

Geoff, 38, who has fish suppliers throughout the region, said: "I got a call from one of my local suppliers saying they had just caught a massive lobster and was I interested in buying it.

"I said I was but when I saw him I just didn't have the heart to do anything with him.

"When you see something that old and magnificent you just can't be the one who ends it's life."

Digby, as Geoff named him, weighs a massive 9lb - 10 times the weight of the average restaurant lobster.

At a loss what to do with him Geoff phoned up the Blue Reef Aquarium in Tynemouth, North Tyneside.

Unfortunately they did not have space for the lobster but suggested Geoff free it by St Mary's Lighthouse where there are rock pools.

Despite his desire to free the animal Geoff will not miss its company.

He said: "I was pretty scared of him truth be told. He was massive, those claws were really something to write home about and he seemed pretty angry.

"Towards the end of the day he seemed pretty tired but as soon as he was in the water he just dashed away."