Brighton, Kent, UK: This is Steven Bouquet, 53, a security guard who has been charged with criminal damage in relation to the deaths of nine cats and the injury of seven. He denies the charges. The alleged crimes will be tried in the Crown Court. In the UK more serious crimes are tried in the Crown Court and not the Magistrates Court.
It is interesting that the prosecution have chosen to charge him with criminal damage under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 and not animal cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Both are applicable but the former usually applies to damaging inanimate objects. However, in this case it is cats belonging to local people which are considered to be inanimate objects under the law in the UK (and USA) and not sentient beings.
I suspect that the choice of criminal damage was chosen because the sentence on conviction can be greater i.e. he can be punished more severely if he is found guilty.
It is alleged that Bouquet killed and injured the cats mostly at night. He was allowed bail which means he can go home to await the next stage in the criminal prosecution rather than go to prison on remand. The next hearing is on 20 February 2020.
The prosecutor, David Holman, of the CPS – Crown Prosecution Service, made the point that the charge of criminal damage does not detract from the seriousness of the offences. He said this to allay fears among the public that the charge of criminal damage means that the cat killings were not being taken seriously.
The Brighton cat killer is almost as renown as the Croydon cat killer except that it was decided that the latter was foxes and not a person. Let’s see if these deaths were caused by this man.
I’d like to ask if the cat killings have stopped since Bouquet was arrested and charged and if so doesn’t it point to this man’s guilt? Just making a point.
SOME PAGES ON CRIMES: