M25 cat killer strikes in Potters Bar

PUBLISHED: 12:59 24 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:13 25 October 2017

Jayne Galloway with Taz the cat. Photo: Jayne Galloway

Jayne Galloway with Taz the cat. Photo: Jayne Galloway

Jayne Galloway

A cat belonging to a Potters Bar woman appears to have become the latest victim of the "M25 cat killer".

Taz was well loved by the entire neighbourhood. Photo: Jayne GallowayTaz was well loved by the entire neighbourhood. Photo: Jayne Galloway

Bengal cat Taz was found dead and mutilated yesterday morning in the garden next door to his owner Jayne Galloway.

Taz had been missing since the evening of Tuesday October 17.

Jayne found him returned dead at 8.50 yesterday morning, in a gesture that is one of the hallmarks of the notorious “M25 cat killer”.

Originally known as the “Croydon cat killer”, the offender has been stealing, killing and mutilating cats and foxes since at least 2014, with the circle of operations expanding to towns all round the M25 area.

Taz loved exploring outside. Taz loved exploring outside. "He was a big cat, he'’d have seen any animal off." Photo: supplied by Jayne Galloway.

Now Potters Bar may have been the most recent target.

Taz’s neck had been snapped, and his tail, ear and right paw cut off.

His front left paw had been flattened, as if it had been held in a vice.

Jayne, who has lived in Potters Bar since childhood, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “He was a big cat, he’d have seen any animal off.”

She said that when she found him, she was “just numb. I was looking at him, willing him to breathe.”

Taz’s body is now in the freezer at the vet for an autopsy.

The condition of the body suggests that he was killed less than 24 hours before he was found.

South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL) are leading a campaign againnst the killer and have documented over 300 cat and fox killings attributed to the M25 cat killer in the last two years.

After visiting Jayne yesterday, Tony Jenkins, co-founder of SNARL said: “The way the tail was cut off is classic.

“The killer often takes the head and the tail, or the head and the front paws, and sometimes he cuts them in half.”

Taz was a much-loved cat who Jayne had adopted three years ago.

“He was a very lovable cat, all the neighbours loved him - he’d become a bit of a celebrity in Potters Bar,” said Jayne.

He had endeared himself to the next door neighbours, Mark and Sue-Ellen Wilson, so much that their house had become his second home.

Jayne said: “What this cruel person has done, it’s just wicked.”

Tony advises cat owners to be vigilant.

“Quite simply, keep your cat in, particularly at night, only let them out under supervision.

He advises people to watch out for people trying to coax cats away and to note down details and registration numbers, but not to approach the person, who may be dangerous.

If you find remains that may be mutilated, he advises calling the police but also to call SNARL on 07961 030064.

Police normally refer animal cases to the RSPCA but may refer the case to the Metropolitan Police, who set up Operation Takahe to investigate in 2015.

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