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Kurt Zouma has avoided jail time after footage emerged of him kicking and slapping his pet Bengal cat.
The 27-year-old West Ham defender pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat, after blaming the family pet for damaging a chair.
Zouma could be seen volleying the Bengal cat across his kitchen, before throwing a pair of shoes at it. He then slapped its head.
Prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court Zouma could be heard saying: “I swear I’ll kill it, I swear I’ll kill it.”
Zouma admitted to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal on 6 February.
And at a hearing at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday morning, the Frenchman was banned from keeping cats for five years and was ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service.
District Judge Susan Holdham described the actions as 'disgraceful and reprehensible'.
BREAKING: West Ham defender Kurt Zouma sentenced to 180 hours community service and banned from keeping cats for five years. After pleading guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. pic.twitter.com/gfp9i235Bd— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 1, 2022
The court was told the 'premeditated' attack was filmed by his younger brother Yoan Zouma in February, and was sent to a woman he was due to go on a date with.
Yoan admitted one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his older brother to commit an offence.
West Ham defender Kurt Zouma and his brother Yoan will be sentenced at Thames Magistrates Court this morning after pleading guilty to animal cruelty offences.— Matt Graveling (@mattgraveling) June 1, 2022
The queue of people waiting to enter the court is a long one, including a couple of people here in support of cats... pic.twitter.com/2j0BqMvTrH
Back in February, after the footage went viral, Zouma apologised for his actions.
In a statement to Sky News, he said: "I want to apologise for my actions. There are no excuses for my behaviour, which I sincerely regret.
"I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video. I would like to assure everyone that our two cats are perfectly fine and healthy.
"They are loved and cherished by our entire family, and this behaviour was an isolated incident that will not happen again."
His two Bengal male cats have since been signed over to be rehomed.
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