Kurt Zouma spared jail for kicking pet cat in Snapchat video

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Watch: West Ham defender Kurt Zouma sentenced over Snapchat cat attack video

Premier League footballer Kurt Zouma has been ordered to carry out 180 hours’ community service and banned from keeping cats for five years after kicking and slapping his pet in a disturbing home video posted on Snapchat.

The 27-year-old West Ham defender showed no emotion as he was handed the sentence at Thames Magistrates’ Court in east London on Wednesday.

He drew international condemnation after footage emerged of him 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.”

District judge Susan Holdham described the actions as “disgraceful and reprehensible”.

West Ham defender Kurt Zouma arrives at Thames Magistrates' Court, London, where he will be sentenced for kicking his cat after being prosecuted by the RSPCA under the Animal Welfare Act. Zouma admitted two counts of animal cruelty on May 24, after a video filmed by his brother Yoan was posted on Snapchat. Picture date: Wednesday June 1, 2022.
West Ham defender Kurt Zouma arrives at Thames Magistrates' Court to be sentenced for kicking his cat. (PA)

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.”

Kurt Zouma pleaded guilty last week to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat, after blaming the family pet for damaging a chair.

His brother Yoan Zouma, 24, a footballer for Dagenham and Redbridge had admitted to one count of abiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his older sibling to commit an offence.

Yoan Zouma, the brother of West Ham defender Kurt Zouma arrives at Thames Magistrates' Court, London, where he will be sentenced for kicking his cat after being prosecuted by the RSPCA under the Animal Welfare Act. Kurt admitted two counts of animal cruelty on May 24, after a video filmed by Yoan was posted on Snapchat. Picture date: Wednesday June 1, 2022.
Yoan Zouma arrives at Thames Magistrates' Court, London, to be sentenced over filming his brother Kurt kicking a cat. (PA)

He was ordered to carry out 140 hours’ community service.

The incident which was filmed on Snapchat by Yoan Zouma showed his brother Kurt volleying the Bengal cat across his kitchen, slapping it on the head as well as throwing a shoe at it.

During the trial, prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court Kurt Zouma could be heard saying: "I swear I'll kill it, I swear I'll kill it."

The court was told the “premeditated” attack was sent by Yoan Zouma 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.”

Watch: West Ham's Kurt Zouma pleads guilty to kicking cat

Following the incident, West Ham fined Kurt Zouma, the maximum two weeks wages’ – £250,000 – with the money being donated to nine different animal welfare charities.

These charities included Cats Protection, People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, Pussycat Lodge Trust, Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, National Animal Welfare Trust and Celia Hammond Animal Trust.

Kurt Zouma was also dropped by German sportswear giants Adidas and the Frenchman’s two pets were taken into care by animal charity RSPCA in February 2022.

More than 340,000 people had signed a petition calling for the West Ham defender to be prosecuted and for his pets to be taken away.

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.”

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