Security guard found guilty of Brighton cat killings

A shopping centre security guard has been found guilty of carrying out a series of cat killings in Brighton, closing a case which puzzled police for months.

On Wednesday a jury at Chichester crown court found Steve Bouquet, 54, guilty of 16 offences of criminal damage, related to the nine cats he killed and seven he injured, and possession of a knife. He will be sentenced at a later date.

The spate of attacks on people’s pets went on for several months between October 2018 and June 2019.

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

Tina Randall described finding her 11-year-old cat Gideon injured in November 2018. “He was fading and as I picked him up, blood spurted out," lei disse. Gideon eventually recovered from the three-quarter inch wound and vet bills for his surgery came to more than £1,600.

Jeff Carter found his cat Nancy hiding under his bed in March 2019, with “a large wound on the right side of her body that was bleeding heavily”. She later died of her injuries.

Police had puzzled over the perpetrator’s identity until Bouquet was caught on a CCTV system set up by the owner of a cat he had killed. He was then identified to the police by Craig Neeld, who had spotted a bald man “bending over and moving his arms” as if operating a camera phone, who he thought was “up to no good”.

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

In his police interview read out in court, Bouquet told officers that all he knew about the cat killings was what he had read in the newspapers and online. He said he was “no threat to animals”, but a photo of a dead cat was found on his phone, the court heard.

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