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British justice on Friday sentenced a man to five years and three months in prison for having slaughtered nine cats in the space of a few months in Brighton.
During the trial of Steve Bouquet, a 54-year-old security guard at Hove Crown Court near Brighton, the owners of the killed pets (Hendrix, Tommy, Hannah, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Kyo, Ollie and Cosmo) have recounted their horror when they found their bloody cats on their doorstep.
Nancy's owner explained to the hearing that he found his pet under his bed, with bloodstains leading to his doorstep.
Taken to the vet and placed on life support, the cat died of a heart attack.
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Steve Bouquet appeared for the murder of nine animals and for injuries inflicted on seven others in October 2018 and July 2019, as well as for illegal possession of a knife.
He pleaded not guilty.
He had already told the police that he posed "no threat to animals" and had heard about the cat killings in the local press.
A photo of a dead cat had however been found on his cell phone.
Caught in flagrante delicto
For months, the police failed to solve the mystery of these attacks, carried out especially at night, before the author was caught in the act thanks to a surveillance camera installed by the owner of one of the cats. dead. After his arrest, the police were able to use the data of his cell phone to trace his movements at the scene of several misdeeds, thus removing the doubt about his guilt.
When sentencing, Judge Jeremy Gold described his attitude as "cruel" and stressed that he was attacking "the heart of family life".
However, Steve Bouquet's motivations remain a mystery.
"It's a shame that the owners of the cats don't know why he did this," said prosecutor Sally Lakin, interviewed by the PA agency.
"This is such an unusual and extremely traumatic crime."
In June 2020 in France, a 39-year-old Vesulian was sentenced to 10 months suspended prison sentence for having tortured to death more than a dozen domestic felines.
He had already been described as a cat serial killer.