West Ham’s player, Kurt Zouma has been sentenced to 180 hours of community service for kicking and slapping a cat for entertainment in videos which went viral online.
Recall that the 27-year-old centreback made headlines after he drop-kicked one of his Bengal cats across the kitchen floor and slapped his pet in the head in front of his seven-year-old son.
The incidents were filmed by Zouma’s brother Yoan, 23, who could be heard laughing in the background as the footballer chased a cat and threatened to beat it with a shoe.
The Zouma brothers appeared at Thames magistrates court last week to admit animal abuse charges.
Passing sentence on Wednesday morning, District Judge Susan Holdham said the brothers “took part in this disgraceful and reprehensible incident”.
Turning to Kurt Zouma, she said: “You kicked and slapped either the same cat or both of them – that cat looked to you to care for its needs.
“On that date in February, you didn’t provide for its needs but caused unnecessary suffering for your own amusement.”
The judge accepted it was an “isolated incident” but said Zouma is a “public figure” in his role as a Premier League footballer.
“You must have been aware that others look up to you”, she said. “Many young people aspire to emulate you.”
Kurt Zouma was ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service, and his brother was sentenced to 140 hours – both under 12-month community orders.
The brothers were also banned for keeping cats for the next five years.