Steve Bouquet, 55, from Rose Hill Terrace in Brighton, was sentenced to five years and three months in prison on July 30, last year, after being found guilty of an eight month campaign of brutal knife attacks on pets in the city. He killed nine cats and seven more he left for dead survived.
A Prison Service spokesperson said today (Tuesday, January 18): “Steve Bouquet died at Maritime Medway Hospital on 6th January 2022. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed."
No further details of his death have been confirmed. At a sentencing hearing on July 12 last year, His Honour Jeremy Gold QC told the court Bouquet was not fit to attend court due to a physical illness. He said at the time: "He is in hospital due to physical illness and not fit to be produced in court this morning. I understand the diagnosis was only made at the end of the working week."
Captured on CCTV
Steve Bouquet's attacks on cats happened between October 2018 and June 2019 in central Brighton.
After he was found guilty and sentenced for his crimes, police explained how there had been no witnesses and no indication as to who was responsible for the cat attacks.
Police said a breakthrough came on May 31, 2019, when nine-month old cat Hendrix was stabbed by a knife in Crown Gardens, a narrow passageway linking Church Street and North Road in Brighton. Hendrix’s owners followed the blood trial out to the passageway and noticed there were CCTV cameras nearby that had been set up by a neighbour whose own cat had suffered a similar fate, having been stabbed and killed a year before.
Detective inspector Chris Thompson said: “We examined the footage and discovered that it had captured Bouquet stooping to stroke the cat before taking something from his rucksack and making a sudden jerk towards it. Hendrix fled, but he later sadly died from his injuries.
“This was to prove a turning point in our investigation as, for the first time, we had evidence of who was responsible. Two days later, on June 2, 2019, we arrested the suspect and in a search of his house found a knife with cat DNA on the blade and his DNA on the handle."
The nine pets who died following the attacks were Hannah, Tommy, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Kyo, Ollie, Hendrix and Cosmo. Another seven animals survived – Wheatley, Alistair, Rigby, Gideon, Samson, Jasper and Maggie survived.
Vet bills for some owners ran into thousands, the court had heard during his trial.