The jury in the trial of a security guard accused of stabbing 16 cats has been shown CCTV which shows him allegedly stabbing one of the cats.
Steve Bouquet, 54, was caught on a CCTV camera installed by the owner of one of the first cats attacked around Brighton in Crown Gardens, a black cat called Hannah.
The court heard he was arrested after Hannah’s owners spotted him on the live camera footage a few days later, and were able to contact a police investigator who happened to be close by.
When police searched his home, they found a knife with Bouquet’s DNA on its handle and cat blood on the blade. And a digital forensics expert was able to match location data on his phone to the time and place of several more attacks on cats.
The jury was read statements from Hendrix’s owners, Stewart Montgomery and Agatha Altwegg, about the attack on 31 May, 2019.
Mr Montgomery said: “My girlfriend came running into the room saying the cat had come in and was bleeding.
“I got up and went to the kitchen where our cat was on the floor. He couldn’t move and wasn’t making much sound.
There was clearly something wrong with him. There was blood seeping out of him.
“He was the perfect cat. I’ve had cats before, but he was special. He was only nine months old.
“After coming back from taking Hendrix to the vets I went into the alleyway where he was stabbed and finding a blood trail which I took photographs of.
“I noticed a CCTV camera on the wall of the alleyway and thought they may potentially hold important footage.
“I wrote a short note and put it through the door of the people I thought owned the camera, asking them to get in touch.”
A statement from Megan Leggo, the veterinary nurse at Coastway who treated Hendrix was also read out. Ms Leggo said: “Our senior nurse Jane took a call from a female in tears. They thought their cat had been stabbed.
“A male and female had arrived with their cat Hendrix. The cat was conscious, bleeding form both left and right side and needed immediate surgery.
“The cat never really recovered and died during post operative care.
“This must have been a blade that caused this. It was a smooth and clean cut.”
This morning, Alan Levy, an electrical engineer who installed the CCTV cameras, told the jury he had done so after his cat Hannah had been stabbed in October the previous year.
He said: “I stalled cameras at our premises and at a neighbour’s higher up as well.
“It’s because we had another cat, her brother, and we wanted to be sure we were protecting that cat, to see what’s going on in the area.”
He said that he had last seen Hannah the morning she was stabbed, up a tree at the end of the twitten. His partner found her about half an hour later on their doorstep, bleeding heavily. She also did not survive.
He had followed a trail of blood back to a wall along the back of the twitten where Hannah often sat to be stroked by passers by.
Bouquet, 54, of Rose Hill Gardens, denies 16 charges of criminal damage and one of possessing a blade in a public place. He is not attending the trial.
The trial continues.
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