Kurt Zouma finally pleads guilty before court
West Ham defender Kurt Zouma has pleaded guilty to kicking and slapping a cat.
The 27-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts under the Animal Welfare Act when he appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court in east London on Tuesday morning.
Zouma was forced to apologise after harrowing footage was filmed and shared by his younger brother Yoan, 24, who admitted one offence during the hearing.
Hammers defender Zouma arrived at court in chaotic fashion, accompanied by several security guards who emerged from a vehicle holding umbrellas to form a protective shield around the defendant.
The brothers’ addresses have been withheld following a court order.
The court was told about disturbing footage of the incident, filmed at Zouma’s home and posted on Snapchat by his brother on February 6.
It was later seen by a woman who had been messaging Yoan, who raised the alarm.
Zouma could be seen volleying the Bengal cat across his kitchen, before throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head.
Prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court Kurt Zouma could be heard saying: “I swear I’ll kill it, I swear I’ll kill it.”
He admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal on February 6.
Yoan admitted one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his older brother to commit an offence.
Prosecutor Ms Stevens said the 40-second clip appeared to be carried out after the cats were deemed responsible for damaging a chair in the home.
She said: “Kurt Zouma is determined to chastise or carry out some sort of retribution for the damage caused.”
She said the young woman who first saw the footage was so appalled that she cancelled a date with Yoan, saying: “I don’t think hitting a cat like that is OK – don’t bother coming today.”
Ms Stevens added: “Since this footage was put in public domain there has been a spate of people hitting cats and posting it on various social media sites.
“Their behaviour falls short of what is expected of a high-profile image.”
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