Twisted cat killer jailed for brutal campaign that saw him butcher 9 felines

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Cat killer Steve Bouquet has been jailed after a campaign of cat killings in Brighton.

The 54-year-old was caged for five years and three months at Hove Crown Court, who heard victim impact statements from devastated cat owners who had their beloved pets killed.

Bouquet killed nine and injured another seven in a sickening reign of terror in East Sussex.

Rather than convict him of animal cruelty, which carries a six month maximum sentence, Sussex Police charged the former Royal Navy seaman with criminal damage.

The force claimed that the pets represented property. He was convicted of 16 counts of criminal damage.

Security guard Bouquet carried out the attacks over a nine month period from October 2018.

Chilling footage shows the moment he struck one of his victims after bending down to stroke the cat.

He can seen pulling something out of a bag before appearing to attempt to strike the animal, who rushed away from the scene.

Police said the CCTV footage was instrumental in catching Bouquet.

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Nine cats – named Hendrix, Tommy, Hannah, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Kyo, Ollie and Cosmo – were slain in the killing spree.

One owner told the court: "I immediately thought it was a stab wound." In a statement, Tina Randall described how blood "splurted out" from her 11-year-old moggie Gideon, who later recovered.

The jury heard from other pet owners who found their cats bleeding on their doorsteps.

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

In a police interview Bouquet said he was "no threat" to animals, but a photo of a dead cat was found on his phone.

Sentencing him, Judge Jeremy Gold QC said his behaviour was "cruel, it was sustained and it struck at the very heart of family life".

Chief superintendent Nick May said: "This has had a devastating impact on those who have had their beloved pets killed or seriously injured and Bouquet's actions understandably caused a lot of concern and worry to other pet owners in the city.

"There have been considerable financial implications as well, with some spending up to £7,500 to try to save their animals."

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