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Alleged Brighton 'cat killer' told police he was 'no danger to animals', court hears
25 June 2021, 19:05
A security guard who is accused of killing cats around Brighton told police he was "no threat to animals", jurors have heard.
Steve Bouquet, 54, from Brighton, is standing trial after denying 16 offences of criminal damage in relation to the cats and possession of a knife.
Throughout 2018 and 2019, nine cats were knifed to death and seven were injured, leaving owners with thousands of pounds worth of vet bills.
Bouquet spoke to detectives about how cats "have always been friendly", and how he would stroke them while out and about in the city, Chichester Crown Court heard.
In his police interview, which was read out in court, Bouquet was asked if he liked cats.
He responded saying: "Yeah. Yeah, always, they have always been friendly, like, and I am sort of no threat to animals."
"They come up to me, I give them a stroke and I send them on their way.
"I have no issues with cats, dogs or anything like that."
Bouquet told detectives that all he knew about the cat killings was what he had read in the newspapers and online.
"I have heard various reports of people wandering around at night with a machete," he told officers.
"Someone's going around with a machete. If I see him harming a cat and I try to intervene it could be my head that gets rolled."
Jurors were shown a series of images found on his phone as well, including ones of live cats around Brighton.
Another picture discovered on Bouquet's phone was of a dead cat called Kyo, jurors were told.
The image had been shared with police investigating the string of cat attacks but had also been published in a local newspaper, the court heard.
Among photos on Bouquet's phone was also a short-haired tabby called Tommy, who was discovered bleeding on his owner Scott Rankin's doorstep in November 2018.
In a statement read out in court, Mr Rankin said he was emailed a picture of a cat by a detective and asked to identify it.
"I knew immediately it was Tommy I recognised him due to the large white patch on his chest," he said."
Tommy had only been let out for about 15 minutes but suffered a four cm cut and did not survive his injury, the court heard previously.
The trial continues.