West Ham defender Kurt Zouma sentenced to 180 hours of community service over cat attack video

By Sammy Mngqosini, CNN

West Ham defender Kurt Zouma was sentenced to 180 hours of community service on Wednesday after pleading guilty to kicking and slapping a cat, according to PA Media.

UK animal welfare organization RSPCA have launched an investigation into the France international player after video of the incident filmed by his younger brother, Yoan, surfaced online in February showing him throwing shoes at his cat, slapping him in the face, chasing him around the room and kicking him on the floor in what appeared to be a private residence.

During sentencing at Thames Magistrates’ Court, Zouma was also banned from owning a cat for five years and ordered to pay fines of almost £9,000 ($11,214).

Yoan was ordered to perform 140 hours of community service after pleading guilty to one count of aiding, abetting, counseling or instigating his older brother to commit an offense under the animal protection.

The RSPCA seized two cats belonging to Zouma shortly after the incident and they have remained in their custody since February.

“We are delighted that justice has been served quickly in this terrible case and our aim now is to match these beautiful cats to the loving homes they deserve, said RSPCA Chief Inspection Officer Dermot Murphy. in a statement sent to CNN after the hearing.

“This case sends a clear message that animals should never be treated like this, and posting videos of injured animals on social media for likes is abhorrent,” Murphy added.

A West Ham spokesman has reiterated the club’s condemnation of animal abuse and cruelty
“This type of behavior is unacceptable and not in line with the values ​​of The Football Club,” said West Ham.

“Within 48 hours of the footage being released, we fined Kurt the maximum fine available to the club.

“Every cent of that money now goes to a number of deserving charities, all dedicated to animal welfare,” the statement read.

Following the incident, Zouma was dropped by Adidas, one of his sponsors, and allegedly suffered racist abuse online.

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