Jurors have retired to consider their verdicts in the case of a man accused of knifing cats to death in Brighton.
Security guard Steve Bouquet is on trial accused of killing nine cats and injuring seven more in a string of attacks in the city that left police stumped, a court heard.
The gruesome spree went on for months as detectives struggled to track down who was responsible, the court heard.
Devastated owners, reeling from the loss of their beloved pets, were also confronted with huge vets’ bills, often reaching thousands of pounds.
Bouquet, 54, has pleaded not guilty to 16 offences of criminal damage – in relation to the cats – and possession of a knife and is standing trial at Chichester Crown Court.
On Wednesday afternoon the jury retired to consider their verdicts in the case.
Earlier in the trial the court heard how the string of knife attacks on cats left detectives stumped for months.
But jurors heard that a breakthrough in the mystery came when a CCTV system set up by an owner of a slain cat appeared to capture a fresh attack on camera.
Footage was obtained that appears to show Bouquet stroking a cat and taking something from his rucksack before making a “sudden jerk” with his arm, prosecutor Rowan Jenkins said.
“This is the moment we say that the defendant stabs Hendrix with some force,” he added.
The nine cats Bouquet is accused of killing are: Kyo, Hendrix, Tommy, Hannah, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Ollie and Cosmo.
He has denied all charges and the trial continues.