Kurt Zouma and brother Yoan given community service over cat attack video
- Credit: PA
West Ham United player Kurt Zouma has been ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service and banned from keeping cats for five years.
The 27-year-old Premier League defender was sentenced at Thames Magistrates’ Court this morning – Wednesday, June 1 – after kicking and slapping his pet in a “reprehensible” home video posted on Snapchat.
Kurt drew international condemnation after footage emerged of him volleying the cat across his kitchen, before throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head, saying: “I swear I’ll kill it.”
District judge Susan Holdham described the actions as "disgraceful and reprehensible".
Kurt pleaded guilty last week to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat, after blaming the family pet for damaging a chair.
Ms Holdham said: “The cat looked up to you to care for its needs.
"On that date in February you did not provide for its needs but you caused unnecessary suffering for your own amusement."
His two Bengal male cats have since been signed over to be rehomed.
A West Ham spokesman said the club hopes "everyone will allow Kurt the chance to learn from his mistake and move on".
The court was told Yoan, 24, who was temporarily banned from playing by his club after the footage emerged, had sent the video of the attack to a woman he was due to go on a date with.
But she 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."
- 1 Hundreds of children strip searched by Met Police
- 2 'Risk of injury' - Aldi recalls product due to safety fears
- 3 Forests between Dagenham and Brentwood to benefit from mass plantations amid £40 million investment
- 4 Jailed: Eight east London offenders locked up in July
- 5 Kittens dumped in Barking 'like rubbish' in 35C heatwave
- 6 'Affordable' Dagenham housing scheme completed
- 7 ‘It’s like a warzone’: Extent of damage to Ballards Road homes on show following blaze which destroyed 14 houses
- 8 'Extremely hard': Mum donates Isla Caton's toys in act of kindness so 'her legacy lives on'
- 9 Gun shots fired in Dagenham
- 10 'Hello Mum' - WhatsApp scammers posing as children steal over £1.5m
Yoan admitted one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his older brother to commit an offence.
Sentencing the pair, the district judge said: “Both of you took part in this disgraceful and reprehensible act with this pet cat.
"You must be aware that others look up to you and many young people aspire to emulate you."
In addition to the community service and the ban on keeping or caring for cats, Kurt was also told to pay court costs of nearly £9,000.
The court heard the Hammers defender had been subject to racist abuse and threats, lost a “substantial” sponsorship deal with Adidas, was fined £250,000 and had no longer been picked for the France national team since the furore over the footage emerged.
But his legal team’s claims in court that seven people are to be prosecuted for abusing Zouma were later dismissed by police.
A West Ham club spokesman said: “West Ham 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.”
In a statement, 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."