‘Brighton cat killer’ jailed for 5 years for stabbing 16 pets
Steven Bouquet, 54, has been jailed for more than five years for stabbing 16 cats in a series of night-time attacks.
The former security guard killed nine cats around Brighton between October 2018 and June 2019. Seven more cats were injured.
He had denied 16 counts of criminal damage and possession of a knife but was found guilty in June.
The “Brighton cat killer” as he has been dubbed, was sentenced to five years and three months in prison at Hove Crown Court.
A number of the cats’ owners told the court about the impact of the killings.
Judge Jeremy Fold QC told Bouquet he would serve five years for the attacks on the cats, and three months, to be served concurrently for possession of a knife.
He was given an extra three months for breaching his bail conditions after he failed to attend Chichester Crown Court for his trial.
He will serve half his sentence in prison before being released on licence.
The Judge added Bouquet’s behaviour had been “cruel”.
“It was sustained and it struck at the very heart of family life.”
Bouquet had denied the charges and in a police interview he said he was “no threat to animals.”
Sussex Police got a breakthrough in the hunt for the cat killer in May 2019 when nine-month old Hendrix was stabbed with a knife in Crown Gardens.
His owners were home when Hendrix returned home bleeding heavily. They followed the blood trail and noticed a CCTV camera.
The camera had captured Bouquet stopping to stroke the cat before taking something from his rucksack, police said.
Hendrix fled from the scene but died later of his injuries.
Photos of two of the cats were later found on Bouquet’s phone, and a knife with feline DNA on the blade was discovered at his home.
Det Insp Chris Thompson said: “His laptop computer showed that he had repeatedly accessed a website in relation to lost cats in the city, paying particular attention to a cat that was killed.
“He had also viewed numerous dog killing cat-related videos, and two photographs of a dead cat in a front garden, taken at different times of the day, were recovered from his devices and believed to have been taken by him.”
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