West Ham United center back Kurt Zouma received a 180-hour sentence of community service Wednesday after being caught on video kicking and slapping his pet cat in abuse.
Zouma, 27, has also been banned from keeping cats for five years. He pled guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to protected animals at Thames Magistrates’ Court. The incident, which occurred in February, was filmed by Zouma’s younger brother, Yoan, who posted it on Snapchat.
Yoan, 23, was suspended by his club, Dagenham & Redbridge FC and on Wednesday, was sentenced to 140 hours of community service. In the video, Kurt Zouma is seen kicking his Bengal cat across the kitchen. He then threw a pair of shoes at it and slapped its head.
“Both of you took part in this disgraceful and reprehensible act with this pet cat,” district judge Susan 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.”
West Ham fined fined Zouma two weeks of salary — the maximum allowed — when the incident was revealed. Manager David Moyes continued to choose Zouma in his side when the defender was fit. Adidas, however, severed ties with Zouma.
A West Ham spokesperson issued the following statement on Zouma’s sentence, per ESPN.
“West Ham United can confirm that Kurt Zouma has been handed a community service order following an investigation by the RSPCA,” the statement reads. “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 apologized 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.”