United Kingdom

Security guard accused of stabbing nine cats to death 'was seen acting really odd'

A security guard accused to stabbing nine cats to death was seen acting 'really odd' near where a pet called Nancy was found with a fatal knife wound, a court has heard.  

Steve Bouquet, 54, from Brighton, is standing trial after pleading not guilty to 16 counts of criminal damage in relation to cats and one count of possession of a knife.  

Nancy's owner found her injured and hiding under his bed and a bloody trail led out of the house to a pool of blood on his doorstep in Shaftesbury Road in the city.

The beloved brown cat was rushed to the vet but later suffered a cardiac crash and did not survive.

Steve Bouquet (pictured outside Brighton Magistrates' Court), 54, from Brighton, is standing trial after pleading not guilty to 16 counts of criminal damage in relation to cats and one count of possession of a knife

Jurors at Chichester Crown Court on Thursday heard that a bald man later identified by a witness as Steve Bouquet had been seen acting 'really odd' in the vicinity of where Nancy lived on the same day. 

During several months in 2018 and 2019, Brighton was swept by a string of attacks on cats, with the felines left bleeding on doorsteps after being stabbed, prosecutors say.

Nine cats - Hendrix, Tommy, Hannah, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Kyo, Ollie and Cosmo - were killed while another seven were injured.

Shocked owners - many reeling from the loss of their pets - were left with vet bills often reaching thousands of pounds.

On Thursday, prosecutor Rowan Jenkins continued to read statements from cat owners who found their beloved pets bleeding after stab attacks.

Jeff Carter described finding a trail of blood through his house and finding his cat Nancy hiding underneath his bed.

During several months in 2018 and 2019, Brighton was swept by a string of attacks on cats, with the felines left bleeding on doorsteps after being stabbed, prosecutors say. Pictured: Bouquet outside Brighton Magistrates' Court 

'I opened the front door and noticed that there was quite a large pool of blood on the doorstep which alarmed me because it was obvious that it was more serious', he said in a statement.

'I saw that Nancy had a large wound on the right side of her body that was bleeding heavily.'

She was rushed for treatment and was seen by Jenny Hill at Coastway Vets.

Ms Hill told the court in a statement that Nancy suffered a cardiac crash and was given CPR and put on a ventilator.

She added: 'Unfortunately it became apparent that she would not survive with any quality of life so we made the decision to let her go.

Jurors at Chichester Crown Court (pictured) on Thursday heard that a bald man later identified by a witness as Steve Bouquet had been seen acting 'really odd' in the vicinity of where Nancy lived on the same day

'It's my professional opinion that Nancy's wound was caused by a malicious stabbing by a human using a sharp knife.'

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.

He said it looked like the bald male was 'up to no good' and as a result he decided to film him.

Mr Neeld later identified the defendant, Steve Bouquet, as the man he had seen at a police identification procedure, the court heard.

The trial continues.

Football news:

Pogba will start the season with Manchester United. PSG retains Interest in the midfielder
Real presented a blue guest uniform. It has orange inserts and graffiti elements
Nuno Espirito Santa about Kane's non-appearance at training: I'll talk to him. We will solve this situation inside the club
Lukaku is close to a new return to Chelsea. It looks like Inter will agree to 120 million - he still needs money
Police have arrested 11 people who insulted Rashford, Sancho and Saka after the Euro 2020 final
Luxembourg fund buys 10% of La Liga for 2.7 billion euros. What is the meaning of the transaction?
Lukaku asked Inter to accept Chelsea's offer