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West Ham's Kurt Zouma Avoids Jail After Kicking Cat On Video

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West Ham's Kurt Zouma Avoids Jail After Kicking Cat On Video

Kurt Zouma has avoided jail after a video emerged of him kicking and slapping his pet cat earlier this year.

The West Ham footballer was ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service and and banned from keeping cats for five years at a hearing at Thames Magistrates’ Court today (1 June).

The 27-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat, after blaming the family pet for damaging a chair.

Zouma showed no emotion as he was handed the sentence this morning.

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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'.

Kurt Zouma escaped jail at today's hearing. Credit: Alamy
Kurt Zouma escaped jail at today's hearing. Credit: Alamy

His two Bengal male cats have since been signed over to be rehomed.

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The court heard that the 'premeditated' attack was filmed by his younger brother, Yoan, a lower-league footballer, in February this year.

It was also heard that the 24-year-old had sent the footage to a woman he was due to go on a date with.

However, she was so distressed by the clip that she cancelled the date, telling him: "I don’t think hitting a cat like that is OK – don’t bother coming today."

Trevor Burke, representing Kurt Zouma, said the cats were described by a vet as being well cared for.

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And he told the court that his client "did not consent" for the film, captured by his brother Yoan and uploaded to Snapchat, to be made.

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

Yoan Zouma shared the clip to Snapchat. Credit: Alamy
Yoan Zouma shared the clip to Snapchat. Credit: Alamy

Judge Holdham said: "Both of you took part in this disgraceful and reprehensible act with this pet cat."

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In a statement following the ruling, a spokesperson for West Ham said they hoped it would now give Kurt the chance to 'learn from his mistake and move on'.

The statement read: "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.

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“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."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Shutterstock

Topics: Football, Sport, Animals

Dominic Smithers
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