CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV: How could a cat’s head nailed to a door be the work of foxes?
How To Catch A Cat Killer
The Great British Sewing Bee
Viewers are not able to sue documentary makers under the Trade Descriptions Act, more’s the pity.
If we could, there would be a writ on its way to the producers of How To Catch A Cat Killer (ITV) this morning.
Far from reassuring pet lovers that anyone cruel and stupid enough to harm our animals will be swiftly arrested, it has convinced me that the police will try to ignore crimes like these even when the evidence becomes overwhelming.
This one-off programme focused on a hateful spree of violence in Brighton, where a doorman known locally as ‘Creepy Steve’ took to stabbing cats as he walked home from work.
‘If you don’t have kids, your pet is your child,’ said a tearful woman named Agatha, whose beloved cat Hendrix was killed.
Viewers are not able to sue documentary makers under the Trade Descriptions Act, more’s the pity
After neighbours banded together and compared CCTV footage, they were able to present police with such clear video proof — including film of the man stabbing Hendrix and then staring into a camera — that prosecution was inevitable.
Even then, the wretched criminal was given bail, and absconded. Did the police organise a manhunt? Err, no… they just visited Creepy’s relatives, who claimed he would never be found.
It was locals who spotted the man, lurking on his own doorstep, and dialled 999. He was sentenced to five years and three months in jail, but died six months later.
The detective chief inspector in charge of the case patted himself on the back. But if police can’t track a runaway back to his own flat without assistance from the Neighbourhood Watch, it doesn’t breed confidence.
More concerning still was the insistence of detectives in Croydon that years of attacks on cats, their mutilated bodies dumped in gardens and parks, were all due to foxes.
If we could, there would be a writ on its way to the producers of How To Catch A Cat Killer (ITV) this morning
This one-off programme focused on a hateful spree of violence in Brighton, where a doorman known locally as ‘Creepy Steve’ took to stabbing cats as he walked home from work
A police vet who examined the corpses said they showed signs of puncture wounds from fox teeth. That sounded plausible — except the same vet performed autopsies on some of the Brighton cats and was unable to confirm they had been stabbed… even when the owners explained what had happened.
In Croydon, the magnificently named Boudicca Rising, an investigator for an animal charity, said that one cat’s head and tail were found nailed to the owner’s door.
Other owners found their pets’ collars posted through letterboxes. That’s not foxes. The film tried to end on an upbeat note, with the story of a cat called Gideon who survived a knife attack. But the grim truth is that most attacks on pets will be dismissed or explained away by police who just aren’t interested.
No doubt similar documentaries could be made about burglaries, car thefts, drug dealing and shoplifting. The message seemed to be that if you want to catch a cat killer, or any other criminal, buy a CCTV camera. And don’t get your hopes up.
Hopes were high for the six remaining contestants on The Great British Sewing Bee (BBC1), as the quarter-finals approached in the show’s best series yet
Hopes were high for the six remaining contestants on The Great British Sewing Bee (BBC1), as the quarter-finals approached in the show’s best series yet. Every episode is a soothing, amusing joy.
Man Yee’s satin pyjamas were awarded ‘garment of the week’ and she’s looking a likely contender for victory — not just for her sewing skills but for her knack of enlisting help from others.
She even got her model to do some ironing while he waited to be dressed.
Presenter Sara Pascoe was awestruck: ‘Man Yee, you only met this man this morning. Tell the women of England how you made this happen.’
She also got away with gluing one outfit instead of sewing it. ‘That doesn’t matter,’ said judge Esme Young.
Is Man Yee a hypnotist?