A man is charged with killing nine cats after his sickening act was captured on CCTV organized by one of his prior victims. According to the court, Steven Bouquet, 54, was captured in video stroking a nine-month-old kitten then taking a knife out of his bag and stabbing the feline.

Between October 2018 and June 2019, the 54-year-old bodyguard was also accused of injuring seven cats in assaults throughout Brighton.

Bouquet had already pleaded not guilty to 16 charges of criminal damage due to the cat attacks and one allegation of weapon possession. He did not show up for his trial on Tuesday, June 22, at Chichester Crown Court, which proceeded in his absence.

Cat owners reportedly spent thousands on veterinary expenses with the total cost of the criminal damages amounting to £32,000. Bouquet stands up to ten years in prison if convicted since the amount is over £5,000.

"In 2018 Sussex Police commenced what became a major investigation following reports of domestic cats being targeted and deliberately stabbed in Brighton,” prosecutor Rowan Jenkins told the jury.

"Sometimes owners found that their cats were still alive and were able to take timely action to try and save them by rushing them to their vets," he added.

Nine cats, on the other hand, had severe wounds that they could not be rescued, according to the court.

"By targeting pets, whoever was responsible was not of course just causing suffering for the animals themselves, you can imagine the actions caused understandable trauma to owners, many of whom were greatly affected both emotionally and, secondarily perhaps, financially," Jenkins said.

The prosecutor described the cuts as "penetrative and clean," and claimed they were made by a sharp object like a knife.

According to the court, authorities had seen an upsurge in complaints of cat attacks but had no lead until Bouquet was captured on CCTV.

Alan Levy installed the cameras around his house after his pet cat Hannah was stabbed to death in October 2018. His neighbors also experienced the same killings, where, Hendrix, a nine-month-old black shorthair kitten, was then assaulted on the street on May 31.

Stewart Montgomery, the cat's owner, followed a pool of blood back to Levy's residence, where he noticed a CCTV camera on a wall. The two victims watched the footage before delivering it to authorities.

"He appears to show affection to the cat by stroking it. Facing sideways, he seems to take something from his rucksack,” Jenkins told the court. "As the cat is lying down in front of him, there is then a sudden jerk from the defendant’s arm," he added.

The cat ran home, where he was brought to the veterinarian by its owners where it died later. Police later found a Leatherman multi-tool with a locking knife with a blade length of around 2.6 inches.

pet cats
A Colombian elderly woman's decomposing body was found partially devoured from the waist up by her pet cats Monday last week after she reportedly died some three months ago in Madrid. This is a representational image. PIXABAY

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