A Briton known as the ‘Brighton cat killer’ was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday for killing nine cats.
Steve Bouquet, 54, stabbed 16 cats between October 2018 and May 2019 in Brighton, killing more than half of them, authorities said. He only stopped when an owner of one of his victims installed a security camera and caught him in the act.
“He made only one mistake but that was all it took to expose him,” said prosecutor Rowan Jenkins, according to the Independent.
Police were able to link Bouquet to the crime thanks to photos of two of the dead cats on his phone and feline DNA on a knife found at his home.
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Police arrested him and he went to trial earlier this year, with a court sentencing Bouquet in June for 16 offenses of criminal damage to cats and possession of a knife. Bouquet continued to deny the allegations during the trial and claimed he posed “no threat to animals”.
Some of the owners of the deceased cats were in court to hear Bouquet’s sentencing at Hove Crown Court. Judge Jeremy Gold QC called Bouquet’s behavior “cruel” to the “sustained” campaign.
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The nine cats were called Hendrix, Tommy, Hannah, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Kyo, Ollie and Cosmo.
Pet owners explained during the trial how they discovered their cats were bleeding at their doorstep, the BBC reported.
“I was completely overwhelmed,” said Gizmo owner Emma Sullivan. “I was crying in tears, completely inconsolable. ”
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Neither police nor prosecutors were able to determine or establish the cause of Bouquet’s attacks.