The 52-year-old security guard denies having stabbed nine cats in eight months while their owners are watching in court
- Steve Bouquet reportedly stabbed pets on the street in the middle of the night
- Pets across Brighton suffered catastrophic injuries between 2018 and 2019
- The 53-year-old security guard Bouquet denied 16 criminal offenses against cats
A security guard is said to be on trial for killing nine cats that were found stabbed to death.
Steve Bouquet reportedly hit in the dark and approached pets on the street before stabbing and gutting them.
The 53-year-old from Brighton appeared in front of the Hove Crown Court this morning and, between October 2018 and June 2019, fought 16 crimes against cats.
Steve Bouquet arrives at Hove Crown Court this morning, where he has been subjected to 16 crimes caused by the death of nine cats and injuries to seven others
Seanin Mouland with Samson, who was on the charge sheet among the seven injured cats
Distraught owners lost loved ones and had to pay thousands of pounds in veterinary fees after their cats were stabbed
The cats that have died include:
Hendrix in May 2019 cost its owner Stewart Montgomery £ 1,662.93.
Tommy, who was part of Carolyn Green, in November 2018 and the damage was worth £ 1,799.28.
Hannah, owned by Marianna Penturo, was in October 2018 and the damage was worth £ 150
Alan, who was part of Katerine Maddock, was injured in February 2019 and the damage was worth £ 135
Nancy, owned by Jeff Carter, was injured in March 2019 and the damage was worth £ 3,214
Gizmo, owned by Emma O’Sullivan, was injured in Ditchling Rise in March 2019 and the damage was £ 384.40
Kyo, who owned Paul Tofts, was injured in May 2019 and the value of the damage was unknown
Ollie, owned by Sarah McKenzie, was injured in May 2019 and the damage was worth £ 384.40
Cosmo, owned by Lucy Kenward, was injured in June 2019 and the damage was worth £ 5,056.44.
The family's pets, who had all suffered catastrophic injuries, then had to crawl home, where nine later died of their injuries.
And the seven injured cats were named Alistair, Wheatley, Rigby, Samson, Jasper, Maggie, Gideon on the bill.
Bouquet has been charged with criminal harm because cats and other animals are owned by the law.
He was also accused of having a Leatherman knife in a public place.
The prosecutor considered whether to accuse him of cruelty to animals, but the circumstances of the case meant that the charge was inappropriate because the accused was not the owner of the cats.
Cruelty to animals is a less serious offense and would result in a lower penalty.
Several members of the public, including some of the cat owners, followed the action from the public gallery.
Fear hit Brighton last year when the number of domestic animals killed and mutilated reached 25.
Animal keepers accused the police of neglecting the killings and Greens MEP Caroline Lucas for the Brighton Pavilion called on officials to redouble their efforts.
In response, the police launched Operation Diverge to investigate the deaths of up to 25 cats who had suffered similar injuries.
Kyo, who owned Paul Tofts, was among the nine dead cats listed on the indictment
Bouquet was arrested in June and charged in December last year.
Ravi Dogra, who defended himself, asked the judge to comply with the same conditions for the bail for Bouquet.
Rowan Jenkins, who is indicting, told the court that the trial was expected to take two weeks, and Judge Paul Tain released Bouquet to stand trial on Monday, September 14.
In 2014 it was reported that a "Croydon cat killer" had been released – but was later released when Scotland Yard discovered that foxes were to blame.
The team launched an investigation called Operation Takahe in 2015, which examined the mutilation of more than 250 cats.
At this point, post-mortem surveys were performed on the animals with the head and tail removed.
However, forensic research, DNA testing, and studying video surveillance made the police believe that the attacks were carried out by foxes, not humans.