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.
Yoan Zouma, 24, a footballer for Dagenham and Redbridge admitted to one count of abiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his older brother to commit an offence.
The incident which was filmed on Snapchat by Yoan showed Zouma volleying the Bengal cat across his kitchen, slapping it on the head as well as throwing a shoe at it.
Prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court Kurt Zouma could be heard saying: “I swear I’ll kill it, I swear I’ll kill it.”
Following the incident, West Ham fined 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.
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 Zouma to be prosecuted and for his pets to be taken away.
Just days after the incident Zouma was controversially included into West Ham’s starting line-up by manager David Moyes in a 1-0 win against Watford in the Premier League. He was booed by both sets of fans.
Talking to BBC’s Match of the Day, Moyes said: “He’ll learn from it [but] today I had to pick a football team that gave me the best chance of winning the game as manager of West Ham.
“I know how people feel, but I’m also a football manager here.”
Following Moyes’ decision, UK life insurance company Vitality announced that they had suspended their sponsorship deal with West Ham stating that they were “hugely disappointed by the judgment subsequently shown by the club in response to this incident”.