Last February, a video of an English Premier League footballer kicking his cat went viral, resulting in a lawsuit against him for animal violence.
This Tuesday, the sentence was known by a British judge, who sanctioned him 180 hours of community work for the French Kurt ZoumaWest Ham United defender.
Zouma, 27, had already pleaded guilty to two offenses under the Animal Welfare Act in an appearance last month at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London.
There, prosecutor Hazel Stevens explained that the acts took place after the cats damaged a chair and assured that after the video was posted it was recorded. “An increase in people beating cats and posting pictures on various social networks.”
The prosecutor told the court that Zouma could be heard saying on the tape: “I swear I will kill him. I swear I will kill him.” Stevens added that the footballer blamed the cats for damaging the chair in his home. .
Kurt Zouma leaves Thames Magistrates Court, London, on Wednesday. Photo: AP
The footballer’s brother Yoan, who plays for the Dagenham and Redbridge club in England’s Fifth Division, will also face another 140-hour civil service punishment.
“The two of them participated in this shameful and reprehensible act with this cat”Judge Susan Holdham said this in the sentence.
The magistrate recalled that both players did not “take care of the cat’s needs” and noted that “there are young people who aspire to emulate them”.
A London court also barred the 27-year-old West Ham player from owning a cat for five years.
The player’s two cats were placed in the care of the animal welfare organization RSPCA, which had filed a complaint for Kurt and Yoan Zouma to be prosecuted.
For their part, West Ham did not suspend the player and even made him play in a match the night the case was revealed, sparking outrage.
Kurt Zouma with the West Ham shirt, in a game against Liverpool. Photo: AP
The player was eventually fined the highest possible fine of nearly 300,000 euros ($ 321,000) from his club and sportswear manufacturer Adidas broke a sponsorship deal with him.
West Ham said that, according to information held by the London club, the cats had “suffered no physical harm”. He later ensured that the financial penalty imposed on the player had been donated to animal protection organizations.
Zouma joined West Ham on loan from Chelsea in August last year. He currently shares a campus with the Argentine Manuel Lanzini.
The video of Kurt Zouma beating his cat
Yoan, 24, recorded the animal abuse incident at his older brother’s home and posted it on the Snapchat app, accompanied by icons indicating “laughter” on February 6.
The video was seen by a woman who was texting with Yoan and who raised the alarm.
In the recording, Zouma appears as she kicks the cat around the kitchen of her house, before throwing a pair of shoes at him and hitting him with her hands.