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Brighton: Man charged after attacks on cats across Sussex | UK News

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A man has been charged with criminal damage after a spate of cat killings in Brighton.

Stephen Bouquet, 52, is charged with 16 counts of criminal damage after attacks on pet cats in Brighton, which happened between October 2018 and June 2019.

Nine of those cats were killed and seven were seriously injured.

South East District Crown Prosecutor Sally Lakin said: “Following a spate of attacks on cats in the Brighton area, the Crown Prosecution Service has authorised Sussex Police to charge Steven Bouquet with 16 charges of criminal damage, relating to attacks on 16 cats, nine of which were killed and seven were seriously injured.

“The allegations relate to incidents which took place between 2 October 2018 and 1 June 2019.

“This is a complex case and this decision was made following a careful review of all of the evidence presented to us.”

The CPS said criminal damage was a more appropriate charge than animal cruelty because the pets did not belong to Bouquet.

Animal cruelty also has a lesser sentence on conviction.

Police initially made an arrest over the killings in June after an 18 month investigation into killings across the seaside city.

On charging on Monday, Sussex Police said: “He has also been charged with possessing a knife blade or sharp pointed article in a public place on 2 June 2019.

“He has been bailed to attend Brighton Magistrates Court on Thursday 23 January 2020.”

The charge in Brighton comes after the Metropolitan Police closed a probe into more than 400 cat deaths across London and the nearby counties.

The deaths had been attributed to the so-called Croydon Cat Killer, but the Met said there was no evidence of a crime. The deaths were put down to vehicle collisions and attacks by wild animals.

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