Trial of the “killer of cats”: “A knife found with feline blood at home” Brighton News

A SECURITY guard stabbed nine cats to death and injured seven others, a court heard.

The trial of Steve Bouquet, accused of being Brighton’s cat killer, began without him after he failed to appear in court for a second day.

Bouquet, 54, reportedly killed nine cats and injured seven others in Brighton between October 2018 and June 2019, the court said.

He did not appear on Monday when his trial was due to begin.

His Honor Judge Jeremy Gold QC told jurors not to speculate on his absence.

The Argus: Steve Bouquet, middle, at a previous hearingSteve Bouquet, middle, at a previous hearing

She said: “It is an unusual case in that he is not here.

“The fact that he is not here does not affect your task.

“You must not speculate as to why he is not here.

“He answered a few questions during his questioning by the police, but he cannot be cross-examined for obvious reasons.

“The case concerns attacks on a number of cats in central Brighton.

“Some resulted in the deaths of the cats involved.”

Rowan Jenkins for the Crown told the jury that Bouquet faces 16 charges of attacking cats in central Brighton.

Nine pets died as a result of vicious attacks with a knife or knives, the court heard.
Hannah, Tommy, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Kyo, Ollie, Hendrix, and Cosmo were all killed.

Seven other animals; Wheatley, Alistair, Rigby, Gideon, Samson, Jasper and Maggie survived.

A knife found at his home had cat blood on it, the court heard.

“The blood found on the blade and scabbard was not human, but feline,” Mr. Jenkins said.

“The prosecution says that the discovery of this knife in the possession of the accused is very important.

“This is probably the weapon used to stab some or all of the cats in this case.”

Bouquet was arrested following a major police investigation, the court heard.

He was arrested when police broke into the case when CCTV picked up Bouquet while interacting with Hendrix, Mr Jenkins said.

“In the early evening of May 31, 2019, Stewart Montgomery and his partner Agatha Altwegg were at their home in Brighton.

“At around 7:50 pm, their nine month old black shorthair with a white patch on their chest called Hendrix came running.

“At first Miss Altweg didn’t think about it, but then she saw blood where he was sitting and on closer inspection found he was bleeding profusely.”

Hendrix could not be saved and the vet who treated him said she had never seen a case like this, Mr Jenkins said.

“In his opinion, it was actually a single wound with a blade penetrating from the left side to the right – sunk right through.”

Neighbors who had installed CCTV after their own cat attacked found footage of Bouquet stroking Hendrix.

Mr Jenkins said: “He seems to show affection to the cat by petting it.

“Turned to the side, he seems to be pulling something from his backpack.

“As the cat lies down in front of him, you will see that there is then a sudden jerk of the accused’s arm.

“This is the moment, we say, when the accused stabs Hendrix with some force. Immediately he reacts by getting up and running away to his home.

“The accused is seen rearranging his backpack and continuing to walk north,” Jenkins said.

The Argus: Steve Bouquet during a previous hearingSteve Bouquet at a previous hearing

A mobile phone expert will testify to the accused’s movements recorded by the handset that correspond to the dates and times of the attacks, Jenkins said.

“Sometimes owners, or those who care for them while they are away, have found their cats still alive and may have taken appropriate action to try and save them by taking them to their vet.

“Not all could find them in time.”
Brighton vets have received injured cats, Mr Jenkins said.

“Some have found themselves facing more than one case.

“These were clean, penetrating wounds that vets believed were caused by a sharp instrument such as a knife.

“Someone was deliberately inflicting these wounds.

“They weren’t minors.

“Despite their best efforts, many animals could not be saved.”

The cat killer has not only caused pain to the pets but also trauma to their owners, Mr Jenkins said.

“A lot of them have been hit very hard both emotionally and financially.

“Such actions have affected wider neighborhoods as word of the attacks spread,” Jenkins said.

Bouquet, of Rose Hill Terrace, Brighton, pleaded not guilty in a hearing prior to 16 counts of damaging and destroying property and one of having a knife in a public place.

The trial is expected to last at least a week.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-22 12:44:59

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