NEWS AND COMMENT-MARITIME MEDWAY HOSPITAL: At the time, the exploits of Steve Bouquet, 54, dubbed the ‘Brighton Cat Killer’ was big news in the UK. It was all over the news media. He went on trial in June 2021 and was found guilty of stabbing nine domestic cats and seriously injuring a further seven. He was eventually caught by a security camera attacking a nine-month-old black kitten called Hendrix who was sitting on a wall near his home. The weapon was found at his home.
I reported on this in two articles. You can read about his trial and exploits by clicking on this link.
There has been a surprising development. The man is dead. He was jailed last year and was serving a five year and three-month sentence having been convicted at Hove Crown Court last July. A Prison Service spokesperson said: “Steve Bouquet died out Maritime Medway Hospital on January 6, 2022.
The cause of death is unknown to the public. However, at his sentencing hearing the court was told that Bouquet had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer which had, apparently, spread to his liver and lungs. Accordingly, it appears that he has died of cancer.
Bouquet served in the Royal Navy for 22 years. His motivation for killing and severely injuring 16 cat has never been disclosed to the best of my knowledge. He was convicted of criminal damage because under UK law the killing and injury of domestic cats is the same as damaging an inanimate object.
Nine cats – Hendrix, Tommy, Hannah, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Kyo, Ollie and Cosmo – were killed, while another seven were injured.
When he was sentenced, the judge, Jeremy Gold QC said that his behaviour was “cruel, it was sustained and it struck at the very heart of family life”.
He added that: “It is important that everyone understands that cats are domestic pets but they are more than that. They are effectively family members. They are much loved by the adults and children who live with and care for them. Cats and all domestic animals are a source of joy and support to their owners, especially during lockdown.”
The news of his passing will probably please many people. That might be an uncomfortable thought but I sense that it is true. He did, indeed, cause a lot of distress and harden. He put a large number of cats through a lot of pain and distress and caused death the nine of them. Their human caregivers are probably still grieving. His sentence was probably about right at a little more than five years.
Although it is unlikely, I wonder whether his behaviour was in any way linked to his terminal cancer? Perhaps he detested cats all his life and thought that it was an opportune moment to attack them in the knowledge that he would be dead within a matter of months.