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Cat Abuse: Popular Footballer Sentenced To 180 Hours Community Service

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Cat Abuse: Popular Footballer Sentenced To 180 Hours Community Service

West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma has been ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service over cat abuse.

A judge at Thames Magistrates Court in east London also banned the 27-year-old France international from keeping cats for five years.

As well as the community penalty and ban on keeping cats, he was told to pay court costs of nearly £9,000. His brother was ordered to carry out 140 hours of community service and also banned from owning cats for five years.

Zouma, 27, admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal by kicking it in the abdomen and slapping it on the head at Thames Magistrates’ Court last week

Disturbing footage of the incident, filmed at Zouma’s home and posted on Snapchat by his brother, Yoan, emerged in February.

In the footage, he kicks the Bengal cat across his kitchen before throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head.

He was heard saying: “I’ll swear I’ll kill it.” The clip, shared on Snapchat, featured laughing emojis.

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

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”.
Following the verdict, a West Ham statement read: “West Ham United can confirm that Kurt Zouma has been handed a community service order following an investigation by the RSPCA.

“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.

“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.”

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