Cat beheading in Southsea linked to M25 cat killer

Killed cat Poppy

A CAT owner has told of his shock at finding his cat’s beheading death has been linked to the notorious M25 cat killer.

Little Poppy, a family pet, was found dead in Marmion Road, Southsea, on Easter Monday.

Shop workers at Victoriana made the gruesome discovery and a charity investigating more than 200 killings of cats in the capital say the death is linked.

Now police have said another killing of a cat has been linked to an investigation into the deaths of cats in London.

Hampshire police – which initially said there was no evidence to connect the killings – have said the Marmion Road death is linked to one in Atlanta Close, Southsea, on April 3 and another in Avenue Road, Sandown, Isle of Wight, last year.

Poppy’s owner Tim Sparkes said: ‘The cat was killed in the morning, Monday morning.

‘It was outside Victoriana in Marmion Road, they came and found blood all over the shop front.

‘They thought there had been a fight.

‘It’s really about getting the message out there that this person has been around the Portsmouth area now and he appears to be doing it in clusters.

‘He’s becoming more brazen, usually it’s not in a road, normally it’s in someone’s garden.

‘It seems to be a step up in his way in killing.’

South Norwood Animal Rescue Liberty (Snarl) has been investigating the London deaths with the Metropolitan Police Service.

Mr Sparkes, a solicitor, said the group had collected Poppy.

He understands the animal was killed using a large knife.

Mr Sparkes said: ‘What’s very concerning is he is running around with this great big blade and what could happened if he was confronted.’

Poppy was just two when she was found dead in the street.

Mr Sparkes added: ‘We’re absolutely completely in shock.’

The investigation has been linked to the Met’s Operation Takahe, the probe started in Croydon in 2014.

A Met police spokesman yesterday told The News: ‘The Metropolitan Police has been made aware of the discovery of a mutilated cat in Hampshire on Monday, April 17.

‘Officers will assess the latest report to see if it is linked to the cases already established as part of the ongoing investigation led by police in Croydon.’

Boudicca Rising, from Snarl, has criticised the Hampshire police response after it emerged people who called in about Poppy’s death had been told to call the council.

Ms Rising said: ‘This type of crime is really, really unusual.’

She added: ‘It’s a possibility it’s the same person.’

Today, Sergeant Tony Jeacock from Hampshire police said: ‘I would like to reassure the public that we are investigating the incident and following all possible leads.

‘I would encourage anyone who is aware of any other cats that have been killed, to call 101.’

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting 44170143847.

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