West Ham defender Kurt Zouma due to be sentenced over Snapchat cat attack video

The 27-year-old French centre-back admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

01 June 2022

Premier League footballer Kurt Zouma is due to be sentenced for kicking and slapping his cat in a disturbing home video posted on Snapchat.

The 27-year-old West Ham defender drew international condemnation after footage emerged of him volleying the pet across his kitchen, before throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head, saying: “I swear I’ll kill it.”

The clip, from February this year, featured laughing.

He pleaded guilty at Thames Magistrates Court in east London last week to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat, after blaming the family pet for damaging a chair.

Kurt Zouma court case
West Ham defender Kurt Zouma tried to shield his face when he arrived at Thames Magistrates’ Court last week, assisted by security (Yui Mok/PA)

His two Bengal male cats have since been signed over to be rehomed.

The court heard the “premeditated” attack was filmed by his younger brother, lower-league footballer Yoan Zouma, 24, who sent it to a woman he was due to go on a date with.

But the woman was so shocked that she called off their meeting, telling him: “I don’t think hitting a cat like that is OK – don’t bother coming today.”

Yoan admitted one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his older brother to commit an offence.

The pair were released on bail ahead of their sentencing.

Liverpool v West Ham United – Premier League – Anfield
Liverpool fans in the stands with an inflatable cat head, aimed at West Ham United’s Kurt Zouma, during the Premier League match at Anfield (Peter Byrne/PA)

The court heard Hammers defender Zouma had been subject to racist abuse and threats, lost a “substantial” sponsorship deal with Adidas, was fined £250,000 and had no longer been picked for the France national team since the furore over the footage emerged.

But his legal team’s claims in court that seven people are to be prosecuted for abusing Zouma were later dismissed by police.

In a statement, RSPCA chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy said: “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.”

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