How to Catch a Cat Killer follows the crimes of disturbed animal abuser Steve Bouquet and the local operation to uncover his identity.
Between October 2018 and May 2019, the criminal, who was dubbed the Brighton cat killer, targeted pets across the city, killing and injuring several felines.
Brighton’s cat owners responded, using online forums, leafleting in the streets, and CCTV in a bid to bring the cat killer to justice.
The documentary features Bouquet’s taped interrogation and interviews with residents who were concerned for the welfare of their pets.
Who was the Brighton cat killer?
The identity of the Brighton cat killer was revealed to be Steven Bouquet, a shopping centre security guard who lived in the city.
Bouquet was a Royal Navy veteran who had served as a gunner for more than two decades in Iraq and Northern Ireland.
For eight months between 2018 and 2019, for reasons clear only to himself, he attacked more than a dozen cats, killing at least nine and injuring seven.
The cats Bouquet killed were called Nancy, Ollie, Alan, Tommy, Cosmo, Hendrix, Hannah, Kyo and Gizmo.
Bouquet killed the animals with a knife - one cat, called Gideon suffered a three-quarter inch wound but eventually recovered.
The vet’s bills for Gideon’s surgery totalled more than £1,600.
How was Steven Bouquet caught?
Concerned Brighton residents began setting up online forums to coordinate efforts to catch the cat killer, and also began leafleting in the streets.
A big break in their operation came when Bouquet was caught on a CCTV camera that one resident had set up after their cat was killed.
When another cat was attacked nearby, police were able to check the CCTV footage and saw Bouquet stopping to stroke the cat before pulling something out of his rucksack and making a sudden jerk.
In Bouquet’s trial, more evidence linking him to the killings was revealed.
Was Steven Bouquet sent to prison?
Yes, Bouquet was put on trial in 2020 - and in police interviews read out during the trial he had said that he presented ‘no threat to animals’.
However, a photo of a dead cat had been found on his phone.
Additionally, a knife with feline blood on the blade and Bouquet’s own DNA on the handle was found in a search of his property.
Accounts from Brighton cat owners who had found their pets with stab wounds on their doorsteps were also heard by the court.
In July 2021, Bouquet was jailed for five years and three months for 16 counts of criminal damage and possession of a knife.
Is Steven Bouquet still alive?
No, Bouquet died in hospital on 6 January 2022, six months into his five year sentence.
His cause of death is unknown, however, at his sentencing hearing it was revealed that Bouquet had thyroid cancer.
When is How to Catch a Cat Killer on TV?
The one-hour documentary special will air at 9pm on 8 June on ITV.
It will be available to watch on the ITV Hub shortly after it is first broadcast.