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West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma given 180 hours of community service for kicking cat

District Judge Susan Holdham tells Kurt and Yoan Zouma they "both took part in this disgraceful and reprehensible act with this pet cat", but adds that they expressed "genuine remorse".

Premier League footballer Kurt Zouma has been sentenced to 180 hours of community service after pleading guilty to kicking and slapping a cat.

The West Ham defender, 27, was also banned from keeping cats for five years.

Disturbing footage of the incident, filmed at Zouma’s home and posted on Snapchat by his brother, Yoan, emerged in February.

Yoan Zouma, 24, has been sentenced to 140 hours of community service and also banned from keeping cats for five years.

Kurt Zouma admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal by kicking it in the abdomen and slapping it on the head at Thames Magistrates’ Court last week.

Hazel Stevens, for the prosecution, said he could be heard in the video saying: “I swear I’ll kill it, I swear I’ll kill it.”

Yoan Zouma admitted one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his older brother to commit an offence.

Two Bengal male cats were subsequently put into the care of the RSPCA and Kurt Zouma agreed that they could be rehomed.

His lawyer, Trevor Burke, said the animals were described by a vet as well cared for.

The QC added that the centre-back “did not consent” to the film being made.

The court heard that Zouma had been fined £250,000, lost a “substantial” sponsorship deal with Adidas, and been subjected to racist abuse and threats.

Yoan Zouma had 80 followers on Snapchat, and only five accounts viewed it before it was deleted a few minutes after being posted, the court was also told.

District Judge Susan Holdham told the brothers: “Both of you took part in this disgraceful and reprehensible act with this pet cat.”

She added: “The cat looked up to you to care for its needs. On that date in February you did not provide for its needs.”

Ms Holdham added, however, that both men had expressed “genuine remorse”.

West Ham said it wanted to “make clear that we condemn in the strongest terms any form of animal abuse or cruelty”.

It added: “This type of behaviour is unacceptable and is not in line with the values of the football club.

“Within 48 hours of the footage emerging, we fined Kurt the maximum available to the club. Every single penny of this money is now with a number of deserving charities, all dedicated to animal welfare.

“Kurt admitted at the earliest opportunity that what he did was wrong. He has apologised without reservation.

“We hope that now the court has reached its decision, everyone will allow Kurt the chance to learn from his mistake and move on.”

RSPCA chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy said: “We hope this case will serve as a reminder that all animals deserve to be treated with kindness, compassion and respect, and that we will not tolerate cruelty by anybody.”

In the footage, Kurt Zouma kicks the cat across his kitchen before throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head.

His brother, 24, later sent the video to a woman he had been messaging who raised the alarm.

Speaking last week, Ms Stevens said the 40-second clip appeared to have been recorded after the cats were blamed for damaging a chair.

“Kurt Zouma is determined to chastise or carry out some sort of retribution for the damage caused,” she said.

Ms Stevens added that the young woman who first saw the footage was so appalled that she cancelled a date with Yoan Zouma, saying: “I don’t think hitting a cat like that is OK – don’t bother coming today.” – Sky News

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