Tuesday, September 27, 2022
HomeEntertainmentFor cat cruelty, West Ham's Zouma was sentenced to community service.

For cat cruelty, West Ham’s Zouma was sentenced to community service.

Kurt Zouma, a West Ham defender, was sentenced to 180 hours of community service on Wednesday after admitting to kicking and slapping his pet cat.

The 27-year-old France international was also barred from having cats for five years by a judge at Thames Magistrates Court in east London.

In February, a video showed Zouma volleying the cat across his kitchen before tossing a pair of shoes at it went viral, causing widespread outrage.

“I’ll vow I’ll kill it,” he was seen slapping the Bengal cat’s head. Laughing emoticons were used in the video, which was uploaded on Snapchat.

It prompted West Ham to fine him £250,000 ($315,000, 294,000 euros). He lost a lucrative sponsorship deal and selection for France.

The Premier League player arrived at court surrounded by burly minders to face a scrum of waiting media and a person dressed up as a cat.

As he went inside, the lone demonstrator gave him a thumbs down.

District judge Susan Holdham told Zouma and his younger brother Yoan, who filmed the incident, that their actions were “disgraceful and reprehensible”.

“You must be aware that others look up to you and many young people aspire to emulate you,” she said but accepted that both expressed “genuine remorse”.

Kurt Zouma pleaded guilty last month to two counts under the Animal Welfare Act of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

As well as the community penalty and ban on keeping cats, he was told to pay court costs of nearly £9,000.

Yoan Zouma, 24, admitted one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his older brother to commit an offence.

He was sentenced to 140 hours of community service.

Yoan, a lower-league footballer, sent the video to a woman he was due to go on a date with but she called off the meeting after seeing the footage.

“I don’t think hitting a cat like that is OK — don’t bother coming today,” she told him.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which brought the prosecution, has called the brothers’ actions “shocking”.

“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,” said RSPCA chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy.

Following the incident, West Ham stated that it “strongly condemns any sort of animal abuse or cruelty.”

“This type of behavior is inappropriate and does not reflect the football club’s principles,” it said in a statement.

“Within 48 hours of the video’s release, we punished Kurt the highest amount available to the club,” the statement stated. The funds were given to animal protection organizations.

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