A SECURITY guard has been found guilty of stabbing nine cats to death and injuring seven more.
Steve Bouquet, 54, attacked 16 cats in Brighton, East Sussex, in a sick campaign.
Bouquet was today found guilty of 16 offences of criminal damage, in relation to the cats, and possession of a knife at Chichester Crown Court.
The cat killer was able to move through the city unseen and unheard as he knifed people’s beloved pets, his trial heard.
His twisted campaign of attacks went on for several months between October 2018 and June 2019.
Nine cats – Hendrix, Tommy, Hannah, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Kyo, Ollie and Cosmo – were killed while another seven were injured.
Jurors heard accounts from several devastated cat owners who had found their pets bleeding on their doorsteps.
Tina Randall told of the horrifying moment she discovered her 11-year-old cat Gideon had been injured in November 2018.
She told the court: “He was fading and as I picked him up, blood splurted out. I immediately thought it was a stab wound.”
Gideon eventually recovered from the three-quarter inch wound – but vet bills for his surgery came to more than £1,600, the court heard.
Jeff Carter described finding a pool of blood on his doorstep in Shaftesbury Road and finding his cat Nancy hiding underneath his bed and “bleeding heavily” in March 2019.
The cat suffered a cardiac crash and was given CPR and put on a ventilator but did not survive her injuries.
Jurors heard how Craig Neeld had been walking along Shaftesbury Road 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".
Mr Neeld said he saw a bald man who was "bending over and moving his arms" as if operating a camera phone and thought he was "up to no good".
He later identified Bouquet as the man he had seen at a police identification procedure, the court heard.
A breakthrough in the search for the cat killer came when a CCTV system set up by an owner of a killed cat appeared to capture a fresh attack on camera, the court heard.
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 cops he was “no threat to animals” – but a photo of a dead cat was found on his phone, the court heard.
Bouquet will be sentenced at later date.
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