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​Man Found Guilty Of Carrying Out Brighton Cat Killings

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​Man Found Guilty Of Carrying Out Brighton Cat Killings

A man has been found guilty of carrying out a series of cat killings in Brighton, East Sussex.

Steven Bouquet, 54, stabbed a total of 16 cats between October 2018 and June 2019, having been dubbed the 'Brighton Cat Killer'.

Nine of the animals died, while seven were injured.

Bouquet, a shopping centre security guard, was able to move through Brighton at night as he attacked residents' pets, his trial heard.

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A breakthrough in the search for the killer came when a CCTV system set up by an owner of a murdered cat appeared to capture a fresh attack on camera.

Prosecutor Rowan Jenkins said: "He made a single mistake but that was all that was needed to expose him."

Bouquet at a previous court appearance. Credit: PA
Bouquet at a previous court appearance. Credit: PA

Bouquet - who failed to appear for his trial - had told officers that all he knew about the spate of killings was what he read online and in newspapers, claiming he was 'no threat to animals'.

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But the court heard how a photo of a dead cat was found on his phone.

After the verdicts were read out, Judge Jeremy Gold QC said: "I suggest it is only really during lockdown it has been particularly clear how much many of us who have pets rely on them for companionship and comfort.

"One can only imagine the distress that was caused to the owners of those various cats in this case at the very thought of having a knife plunged into their beloved pet."

During the trial, jurors head accounts from several cat owners who had found their pets bleeding on their doorsteps.

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Describing the moment she discovered her 11-year-old cat Gideon had been injured in November 2018, Tina Randall said: "He was fading and as I picked him up, blood splurted out.

"I immediately thought it was a stab wound."

Thankfully, Gideon recovered from the three-quarter inch wound, but Randall was hit with vet bills of more than £1,600 for the cat's surgery.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Jeff Carter also told the court how he'd found a pool of blood on his doorstep in March 2019, discovering his cat Nancy hiding underneath his bed.

"I saw that Nancy had a large wound on the right side of her body that was bleeding heavily," he said.

Nancy, who suffered a cardiac crash, was given CPR and put on a ventilator, but sadly did not survive her injuries.

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Jurors heard how Craig Neeld had been walking along the road where Carter lives on the same day that Nancy was found stabbed.

In his statement, he described receiving a phone call from his friend Barry, who asked him to look out for a 'guy acting really odd'.

Neeld later identified Bouquet as the man he had seen as a police identification procedure.

A provisional date for Bouquet's sentencing has been set for 12 July.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, Animals, Cats

Jess Hardiman
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