West Ham United defender Kurt Zouma has been ordered to do 180 hours of community service and is banned from keeping cats for five years, a London court ruled on Wednesday.
In February, a video posted on social media showed Zouma dropping one of his cats and kicking him across the floor. The 27-year-old Zouma pleaded guilty to kicking and slapping his Bengal cat. Last month, he admitted two offences under the Animal Welfare Act at the Thames Magistrates’ Court.
“The cat looked up to you to care for his needs. On that date in February, you did not provide for his needs,” district judge Susan Holdham said.
“You must be aware that others look up to you, and many young people aspire to emulate you,” she said but accepted that Zouma expressed genuine remorse.
“We hope this case will serve as a reminder that all animals deserve to be treated with kindness, compassion and respect, and that we will not tolerate cruelty by anybody,” Dermot Murphy, chief inspectorate officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), said.
Since the incident, Zouma’s two Bengal cats have been placed under the care of the RSPCA. West Ham United fined him £250,000 ($315,000, 294,000 euros), which was donated to animal welfare charities. Zouma also lost a lucrative sponsorship deal.
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