Kurt Zouma given community service order after admitting kicking and slapping pet cat
The French defender was seen in viral footage slapping and kicking his pet cat
West Ham defender Kurt Zouma has been given a community service order after admitting kicking and slapping his pet cat in a video which went viral.
The defender has been ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service and banned from keeping cats for five years at Thames Magistrates’ Court.
The 27-year-old Premier League star was accompanied by security guards as he made his way into the court, skipping past those already queuing to come in.
A person dressed as a cat was among those gathered outside.
Zouma wore a black suit and a white shirt in the dock.
Prosecutor Hazel Stevens stood for around a minute to address the court, and did not go over the details of the case set out last week.
Trevor Burke QC, for Kurt Zouma, said the cats were described by a vet as well cared for.
He said Zouma “did not consent” for the film, captured by his brother Yoan and uploaded to Snapchat, to be made.
The court heard Yoan Zouma had 80 followers on Snapchat, and only five accounts viewed it before it was deleted a few minutes after being posted.
District Judge Susan Holdham said: “Both of you took part in this disgraceful and reprehensible act with this pet cat.”
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.”