West Ham defender Kurt Zouma has been sentenced to 180 hours of community service after pleading guilty of kicking and slapping his pet cats. In East London, a judge at Thames Magistrates Court reportedly banned the 27-year-old France international from keeping cats as pets for five years. Earlier, the defender triggered an outrage after disturbing footage of the incident, filmed at Zouma’s home was posted on Snapchat by his brother, Yoa in February.
In the video, Zouma was captured kicking the cat across his kitchen before throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head. Reports further suggested that his 24-year-old brother sent the video to a woman he had been messaging, who raised an alarm. He has been punished and will carrying out 180 hours of community service as a part of his sentence.
Hazel Stevens, for the prosecution, said Kurt Zouma could be heard in the video saying, “I swear I’ll kill it, I swear I’ll kill it.” Ms Stevens said the 40 seconds clip appeared to have been recorded after the cats were reportedly blamed for damaging a chair in the kitchen.
As a cat owner, Kurt Zouma’s abuse of his pet has made me feel physically sick tonight.
How could someone treat their animal like this for sport and cheap laughs?
He must never own a cat again. pic.twitter.com/tV905qI6pR
— Dan Wootton (@danwootton) February 7, 2022
Zouma, 27, reportedly admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal by physically abusing it in the abdomen and slapping it on the head at Thames Magistrates’ Court last week. The prosecutor further informed that the woman who first raised the alarm was so shocked to see the video that she cancelled her date with Yoan, saying, “I don’t think hitting a cat like that is okay in any way – don’t bother; coming today.”
As per reports, the Premier League player arrived at the court surrounded by media and a person dressed up as a cat. District judge Susan Holdham reportedly told Zouma and his younger brother Yoan that their actions were “disgraceful and reprehensible”. The judge also conveyed to the defender that millions of fans look up to him as an inspiration, but he has failed to live up to the expectations.
Kurt Zouma pleaded guilty last month under the Animal Welfare Act. Apart from the community penalty and ban on keeping cats, he was told to pay court costs of nearly 9,000 pounds. Yoan Zouma, 24, admitted one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his older brother to commit an offence.