Thursday , July 7 2022

West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma ordered to do community service over cat abuse | West Ham United

The Premier League footballer Kurt Zouma has been ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service and banned from keeping cats for five years for kicking and slapping his cat.

The 27-year-old West Ham and France defender prompted widespread condemnation after footage filmed by his brother Yoan Zouma, emerged of Zouma volleying the pet across his kitchen, before throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head.

The district judge, Susan Holdham, said: “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.”

The judge said both men expressed “genuine remorse”.

The Snapchat clip, from February, featured Zouma laughing and saying: “I swear I’ll kill it.”

He pleaded guilty at Thames magistrates court in east London last week to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat, after blaming the family pet for damaging a chair.

His two male Bengal cats have since been signed over to be rehomed.

The court heard the “premeditated” attack was filmed by his younger brother, the lower-league footballer Yoan, 24, who sent it to a woman he was due to go on a date with.

But the woman was so shocked that she called off their meeting, telling him: “I don’t think hitting a cat like that is OK. Don’t bother coming today.”

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

The court heard that Zouma had been subject to racist abuse and threats, lost a “substantial” sponsorship deal with Adidas, was fined £250,000 and and lost his place in the France national team since the furore over the footage emerged.

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But his legal team’s claims in court that seven people are to be prosecuted for abusing Zouma were later dismissed by police.

In a statement, the 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.”

Several people gathered outside the court as Zouma arrived dressed in a black suit and white shirt. They included one person dressed as a cat.

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