The full charges against the man accused of stabbing cats in Brighton and Hove have been revealed.
Steve Bouquet, 52, of Rose Hill Terrace, Brighton, is due to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court tomorrow morning.
He faces 16 charges of criminal damage, all against cats, and one of having a Leatherman knife in Frederick Place, Brighton, on Sunday 2 June last year.
In nine of the charges, he is accused of destroying property. The cats in these charges are:
- Hendrix, who belonged to Stewart Montgomery. The charge says he was injured in Crown Gardens on Friday 31 May 2019 and the damage was worth £1,662.93
- Tommy, who belonged to Carolyn Green. The charge says he was injured in Cheltenham Place, Brighton on Thursday 8 November 2018 and the damage was worth £1,799.28
- Hannah, who belonged to Marianna Penturo. The charge says she was injured in Crown Gardens on Thursday 11 October 2018 and the damage was worth £150
- Alan, who belonged to Katerine Maddock. The charge says he was injured in North Gardens on Monday 4 February 2019 and the damage was worth £135
- Nancy, who belonged to Jeff Carter. The charge says he was injured in Shaftesbury Road on Monday 18 March 2019 and the damage was worth £3,214
- Gizmo, who belonged to Emma O’Sullivan. The charge says he was injured in Ditchling Rise on Tuesday 27 March 2019 and the damage was worth £384.40
- Kyo, who belonged to Paul Tofts. The charge says he was injured in Rugby Road on Tuesday 2 May 2019 and the value of the damage was unknown
- Ollie, who belonged to Sarah McKenzie. The charge says he was injured in Rugby Road on Wednesday 3 May 2019 and the damage was worth £384.40
- Cosmo, who belonged to Lucy Kenward. The charge says he was injured in Port Hall Place on Saturday 1 June 2019 and the damage was worth £5,056.44
The cats in the charges where Bouquet is accused of damaging property are:
- Alistair, who belongs to Stewart Cruse, on Sunday 14 October 2018 at Trafalgar Terrace, to the value of £2,421.06
- Wheatley, who belongs to Andrea Williams, on Tuesday 2 October 2018 at Crown Gardens, value unknown
- Rigby, who belongs to Penny Vessey, on Wednesday 31 October 2018 at Stafford Road, to the value of £915.58
- Samson, who belongs to Seanin Mouland, on Sunday 18 November 2018 at Ditchling Rise, to the value of £7,500
- Jasper, who belongs to David Perry, on Monday 12 February or Tuesday 13 February 2019 at Rugby Road, to the value of £2,140.95
- Maggie, who belongs to Claire Smith, on Saturday 1 June 2019 at Coventry Street, to the value of £4,826.72
- Gideon, who belongs to Tina Randall, at Trafalgar Terrace on Monday 5 November 2018, to the value of £1,623.33
Bouquet was charged on Sunday 22 December after a lengthy investigation by Sussex Police, called Operation Diverge.
The file was passed to the CPS, who authorised the charges being put to him tomorrow.
Last month, the CPS said: “We carefully considered which charges would be the most appropriate in this case and concluded that the defendant should be charged with criminal damage.
“This does not in any way detract from the seriousness of the offence or the great distress these incidents will have caused the owners of the cats.
“However, under current legislation, cats and other animals are deemed as property.
“Prosecutors did consider whether to charge animal cruelty but the circumstances of the case meant this was inappropriate, as the defendant is not the owner of the cats.
“In addition, animal cruelty is a summary-only offence and therefore would attract a lesser sentence than criminal damage.”