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West Ham star Kurt Zouma sentenced to community service for 'reprehensible' cat kicking
1 June 2022, 10:48 | Updated: 1 June 2022, 11:57
West Ham defender Kurt Zouma will carry out community service for kicking and slapping his pet cat in a disturbing video posted by his brother on Snapchat.
The 27-year-old Frenchman was ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service and banned from keeping cats for five years at Thames Magistrates' Court.
He showed no emotion as he was handed the sentence at Thames Magistrates' Court in east London on Wednesday morning.
He pleaded guilty last week to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat, after blaming the family pet for damaging a chair.
His younger brother Yoan admitted one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his older brother to commit an offence.
He was ordered to carry out 140 hours' community service.
District Judge Susan Holdham said: "Both of you took part in this disgraceful and reprehensible act with this pet cat.
"The cat looked up to you to care for its needs. On that date in February you did not provide for its needs."
West Ham defender Kurt Zouma arrives at court for sentencing over Snapchat cat attack video
Footage emerged earlier this year of Zouma volleying the pet across his kitchen, before throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head, saying: "I swear I'll kill it."
Yoan, a lower-league footballer, posted the video on Snapchat and also sent it to a woman he was due to go on a date with.
She was so shocked she called off their meeting, telling him "I don't think hitting a cat like that is OK - don't bother coming today", the court heard.
Zouma, whose two Bengal male cats have since been signed over to be rehomed, was accompanied by security guards as he made his way into court.
A person dressed as a cat was among those gathered outside.
In a statement, a West Ham club spokesman said: "West Ham United wishes to make clear that we condemn in the strongest terms any form of animal abuse or cruelty. 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."