Watch: 'Brighton cat killer' Steve Bouquet dies months after being jailed for stabbing nine pets to death
A former Royal Navy gunner, who became known as the "Brighton cat killer" after fatally stabbing nine pets during a seven-month spree, has died.
Security guard Steve Bouquet, who also injured seven other felines, was jailed for five years and three months in July 2021.
Bosquet carried out the attacks in the city of Brighton, East Sussex, between October 2018 and May 2019.
The animals which were killed were named Hendrix, Tommy, Hannah, Alan, Nancy, Gizmo, Kyo, Ollie and Cosmo.
The prison service has now confirmed that Bouquet died in hospital on 6 January.
His cause of death is not known, however at his sentencing hearing the court was told he had thyroid cancer which had spread to his liver and lungs.
A prison service spokesperson said: "Steve Bouquet died at Maritime Medway Hospital on January 6 2022.
"The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed."
Bouquet had been jailed at Hove Crown Court after being found guilty in June 2021 of 16 offences of criminal damage in relation to the cats, as well as possession of a knife.
He served in the Royal Navy for 22 years, including in Northern Ireland and Iraq.
During Bouquet's trial, jurors heard accounts from several cat owners who had found their pets bleeding on their doorsteps.
He was finally caught after the owners of nine-month-old Hendrix noticed a CCTV camera near to where their animal had been stabbed, that had been set up by a neighbour whose cat had suffered a similar fate a year before.
Police 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", Detective Inspector Chris Thompson said.
During a search of Bouquet's home, a knife, with feline blood on it and his DNA on the handle, was found.
Sentencing Bouquet, Judge Jeremy Gold QC said his behaviour was "cruel, it was sustained and it struck at the very heart of family life".
He added: "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."