Cat killer sentenced for 5 years and three months after spate of attacks in Brighton

  • Video report by ITV Meridian's Andy Dickenson

A security guard who killed nine cats and injured seven others in a spate of attacks in Brighton has been sentenced to 5 years 3 months in prison.

Steve Bouquet carried out the attacks in the city over a nine month period, beginning in October 2018.

The 54-year-old had told police he was "no threat to animals", but CCTV footage was obtained that appeared to show Bouquet stroking a cat before attacking it.

A photo of one of the dead cats was found on Bouquet's phone.

Chief Superintendent Nick May, divisional commander for Brighton and Hove 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."

Jayne Cioffi from the Crown Prosecution Service said: "This has been a tragic case for all the owners involved. Not only did Steve Bouquet inflict horrendous suffering to each of the animals he attacked, but he also caused real trauma to their owners, many of whom found their beloved pets injured and bleeding.

"None of us can comprehend what drove Bouquet to do this to family pets. His claims that it was simply chance that he was present at various times when the animals were attacked were rightly dismissed by the jury after being disproved by the investigation and prosecution work.

"The CPS will always seek to prosecute people for cruelty to animals, either pets or other wildlife, where cases pass our legal test."