Prosecution: Stephen R Bouquet, born 05/01/1967, of 31B Rose Hill Terrace, Brighton BN1 4JJ – accused of killing and injuring 16 cats
Steve Bouquet, who is originally from Chelmsford in Essex, has denied killing and injuring cats in Brighton.
He faces 16 counts of criminal damage, relating to the deaths of nine cats, and injuries to seven others.
The 53-year-old was brought into court as the first case before District Judge Tessa Szagun at Brighton Magistrates’ Court today.
He wore a black leather jacket, white polo shirt, and black trousers as he appeared in the dock.
Bouquet spoke to confirm his name, address and nationality. He was represented by Kirsty Craghill, while David Holman prosecuted.
Mr Holman said the total cost of the criminal damage in the charges was £32,000.
Judge Szagun said the offences are either way offences and released Bouquet on bail.
He was ordered not to enter York Road at the junction with Queen’s Road and North Gardens, not to enter Church Street at the junction of Queen’s Road and Dyke Road, and not to enter Crown Gardens at the junction with Kew Street.
Bouquet will next appear before the Crown Court at either Lewes, Hove, or Brighton on February 20, 2020.
#TheList Susan Hume, born 26/02/1974, of 77 Rosebank, Sauchie, near Alloa FK10 3NR – kept a dog and cat in foul conditions.
Susan Hume kept border collie Jake and ginger tabby Simba in a squalid flat coated in animal waste and broken furniture.
Shocking photographs showed faeces caked onto the wooden floorboards, which were soaked in urine – so much so the dogs’ paws were burnt.
Rubbish could be seen piled up in the flat, where the animals were exposed to sharp objects and medication as well as cigarette smoke.
The Scottish SPCA launched an investigation and Hume was taken to court accused of failing to meet the needs of the animals in her care under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.
The court imposed a disqualification order on Hume keeping dogs but suspended this for 12 months. No charges were brought for the cat. Both animals were, therefore, returned to Hume – a decision slated by the Scottish SPCA.
Scottish SPCA inspector Nicola Liddell said: “This case gives out a confusing message.
“To be banned from owning dogs and not the cat, along with being able to get her animals back, highlights the inconsistency among sentencing.
“The living conditions of both Jake and Simba were absolutely horrendous.
“The house was so dirty that Jake’s coat was matted with faeces and his feet were badly scalded due to prolonged contact with the damp, urine soaked floor.
“Simba the cat had regular access to the outdoors so was not affected in the same way.
“Both animals smelled strongly of cigarette smoke and urine.
“As a result of our enquiries, we removed Jake and Simba from the premises.
“While we respect the decision of the court we are disappointed by this sentence.
“Due to this, the animals will be returned to her.
“We hope that Hume now fully ensures the welfare of both Jake and Simba and will seriously consider whether she can adequately provide for any animal in the future.”
Sentencing: 12-month community payback order. Disqualified from keeping dogs but the order was suspended for 12 months.
#TheList Samantha McIntyre, born 11/04/1975, of Copse Wood, Foston Lane, Bradford BD2 3QU – abandoned a cat and three kittens to go on holiday for nine days; mother cat starved to death
McIntyre, who at the time was living in Coed Onn Road, Flint in North Wales, said she had left food out and the shower running for her pet named Lulu, and her three kittens while she went to visit her partner in Bradford.
The 44-year-old said she had only intended on being away for three days, but ended up staying longer to look after her boyfriend when he fell ill.
Meanwhile, concerned residents contacted the RSPCA reporting fears the animals had been abandoned.
Inspectors visited the property on several occasions to put food through the letterbox and sealed the front door with tape so they could see if anyone had been home.
But it was nine days before McIntyre returned, by which time Lulu had died.
A post-mortem examination revealed there was no food in her system and her death was due to malnutrition.
The three kittens were rescued by the RSPCA and are now said to be doing well.
McIntyre, who now lives permanently in Bradford, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to look after the welfare of the animals.
Glen Murphy, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said the charity had visited the address on June 28, 29 and 30, 2019, to check if the seal over the door had been broken, and to put food through the letterbox.
They had spotted an “immobile cat” and three kittens and contacted housing officers to get them to alert the tenant.
When they finally reached her, McIntyre told the RSPCA she’d given her ex-partner permission to enter the property and feed the cats but when he was traced, he said they had cut ties and he didn’t even know she was away.
When police eventually gained entry to the house, they found no food out for the cats and the shower running in the wet room.
The court heard McIntyre had been away from June 21 to 30, 2018.
Melissa Griffiths, defending said she was suffering with mental health problems at the time and with a 21-month-old baby and a vulnerable teenager to look after, as well as her sick partner, and was “stretched in too many directions.”
“She is extremely shaken up and ashamed to be before the court for the first time and understands this is an extremely serious matter…she was just stretched in too many directions.”
Magistrates said they considered the level of neglect to be “extreme” causing the cats “considerable suffering.”
Sentencing: 16-week custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months; 12-month community order of 180 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £622 costs. Banned from keeping animals for two years.
#TheList cat hoarder Pamela J Coombes, born c. 1967, of 114 Gatcombe Road, Bristol BS13 9RG – neglected dozens of cats in her care and kept them in foul conditions
In August 2018 police raided Pamela Coombes’ house after her neighbours called the RSPCA and she repeatedly refused to let them in to look around.
Inside, police officers and RSPCA inspectors found what they described as unhygienic and unsuitable for the number of cats.
Many of the cats were found to be suffering from cat flu, dental disease and flea infestations.
An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “Cats were immediately removed from the premises because of the conditions they were being kept, with some found to have discharge from their eyes and nose, some in poor body condition, and several sneezing.
“Vets who assessed the cats found many to be suffering from cat flu, dental disease and flea infestations.
“Conditions in Coombes’ home were described as being unhygienic and unsuitable for animals, with a lack of provision for the number of cats confined in the space,” she added.
District Judge Anthony Callaway said there was no evidence that Coombes had been “deliberately cruel” to the cats and her actions were borne out of “a desire to help too many animals to the extent that the care of others may be jeopardized by further additions and cruelty, not inflicted deliberately, but on the contrary, cruelty borne of kindness.”
Sentencing: Coombes was found guilty of five separate animal welfare offences and given a two-year conditional discharge. She was banned from keeping cats for just three years. All of her cats were handed over into the care of the RSPCA.
#TheList Elizabeth Mary O’Sullivan, born 21/05/1967, previously of Sandford Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 (current address tbc) – starved her three cats to death – forcing one to feed off the bodies of the others to survive.
Elizabeth Mary O’Sullivan left her pets to die when she moved out of her ‘filthy’ flat.
The 52-year-old moved from her home in February or March 2019, but it was up to three months before local authority housing officers discovered the pets.
The dismembered bodies of two cats were found on the living room floor, while a third was found barely alive on May 16,
The officers alerted the RSPCA to their horrific find and Inspector Jonathan Radcliffe was sent to the scene.
Two of the cats had died from dehydration and starvation, but a third was found collapsed in a critical condition having survived off the remains of his fellow pets.
He took the cat for emergency treatment but the vet made the decision to put the pet down to end his suffering.
O’Sullivan was traced to a nearby address ten days later and was arrested by police, though she failed to appear in court on two occasions.
She was tried and found guilty in her absence on November 15, 2019, of one animal welfare offence.
O’Sullivan was arrested two days later and brought before the court for sentencing on Monday, November 18.
Inspector Radcliffe said: “The flat was filthy and the remains of two dismembered cats were on the living room floor.
“There was also a cat which was barely alive collapsed nearby.
“It appears this cat had survived for weeks without food and water by eating the remains of the other two pets as they had died from starvation and dehydration.
“There was no food and water in the flat – but the toilet seat had been left up so the cats may have been able to drink from this, however, as they became weaker they would have been unable to access this water.
“It is incomprehensible to think the suffering these pets must have endured and how terrified they must have been for such a long period of time before dying of starvation.
“It must have been awful for the remaining cat to watch as the others died in front of him and then he was forced to eat their remains in a desperate attempt to survive. Sadly this cat was too ill to recover from his ordeal.”
Sentencing: jailed for 20 weeks; ordered to pay a £150 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping all animals for life.
#TheList hoarders Cherie Samantha Moore (born 11/04/88), wife Robyn Melissa Moore, née Daniels (born 03/01/87) and their friend Aaron Cummings (born 02/10/87) all of 37 Cables Wynd House, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6DF – kept nine cats, one dog and a rabbit in cramped and filthy conditions in a flat
A Scottish SPCA investigation found that the majority of the cats were kept inside two rooms, and they were eating food so hungrily it was causing them to choke.
The dog was in lean condition and had a visible skin issue. She was also very anxious and mentally highly strung. They found her pacing around a room and scratching excessively.
The rabbit had overgrown nails which were affecting his mobility. He has since had to be put to sleep due to severe dental issues.
The trio admitted failing to provide the basic needs for the animals, including a suitable environment, veterinary treatment and diet.
Scottish SPCA chief inspector Paul Anderson said, “The living environment for these animals was cramped and filthy.
“The majority of the cats were contained in two rooms.
“Upon entering the rooms, our inspectors were overwhelmed with the smell of ammonia.
“Four cats were in one room, eating food so hungrily, it was causing them to choke. They were clearly starving.
“No food or water was provided in the other room where three other cats were kept.
“The dog, Honey, was in a lean condition and had a visible skin condition that had caused hair loss along her back and down her legs.
“She appeared very anxious and mentally highly strung. She was pacing around the room and was scratching excessively.
“The male rabbit, Snowy, was found to have very overgrown nails which were affecting his mobility but was otherwise in good condition.”
He added: “Police Scotland were called to assist with the seizure of the animals.
“On veterinary examination, the body condition of the cats was overall very poor. Their health issues ranged from emaciation and dehydration, to flea infestation and visible signs of stress, such as excessive itching.
“The cats and dog have since been successfully rehomed. Unfortunately, due to severe dental issues, Snowy the rabbit had to be put to sleep on veterinary advice.”
Sentencing: all three were banned from keeping animals for three years.
#TheList Gale Elizabeth Maitland, born 15/02/1967 of Carbarns West, Wishaw ML2 0DE – kept cats and a dog in fly- and faeces-infested conditions
Following a tip-off from a concerned postal worker, Scottish SPCA inspectors attended Gale Maitland’s home and were confronted with a scene of horror, with five cats and a dog living in the foulest of conditions.
Maitland admitted two charges of failing to admit the needs of the animals.
Depute fiscal Abby Seal said: “In March police received an anonymous call from a Royal Mail worker who had attended at the locus during her shift and noticed the door lying ajar.
“The caller believed the house had been trashed and wanted to make a report because the house was in a state of disarray and she could see a dog in a cage in a distressed state.
“The house was in an extremely unsanitary state and in complete disarray and there was an overpowering, pungent smell of urine being intensified by the central heating.
“Inspectors from the SPCA found the hall and stairway full of clothing, bin bags, rubbish and half-eaten takeaway boxes.
“Several cats were seen eating mouldy food from takeaway boxes.
“Throughout the property there was animal faeces and urine on the furniture.
“In the kitchen there was a tan crossbreed dog in a crate on the floor which was in a distressed state and the crate was described as being in a horrendous state and totally unsuitable for a dog to caged within it.
“The crate had a deep build-up of faeces and food which was several inches high.
“A downstairs toilet was being used as a large waste area with bin bags stacked on top of each other 6ft high.
“There was an overpowering smell of ammonia coming from three cat litter trays and it was described by inspectors as the worst litter trays they had seen.
“The master bedroom was in a similar state to the rest of the house and a small cat was observed eating from a partially eaten pizza box.
“Photographs were taken of each animal and they were taken to the Lanarkshire rehoming centre.”
Kauser Iqbal, defending, said: “There was no deliberate intent on her part relating to these offences.
“She was under an extreme amount of stress with the health of her father and long hours that she was working.
“The wake up call for her was when the animals were taken away by officers from the SPCA.
“She has taken significant steps in the property and has replaced every item of furniture and carpet inside.
“This wasn’t a deliberate or planned course of action and she has been extremely stressed over these proceedings.”
Two of the cats known as ‘Chance’ and ‘Loki’ will be returned to Maitland but the other three will be re-homed along with the dog.
Sentencing: 240 hours of unpaid work. Banned from keeping dogs for life.