It’s a cat! Kurt Zouma of West Ham United looked like a cat caught in the headlights as he attempted to avoid our 6ft 7in moggie outside the court this morning.
Zouma, who admitted kicking and slapping his pet cat and pleaded guilty to two counts under the Animal Welfare Act last week, was sentenced to 180 hours of community service and was barred from owning cats for five years.
After pleading guilty last week, the £125,000-per-week lawyer expected a penalty. But our larger-than-life tabby collaring him on his way in – and out – of Thames Magistrates’ Court sentencing was probably not in his plans.
On his way into court, Zouma made every effort to avoid the enraged feline. Our puss among suits, with a tail only slightly longer than Zouma’s charge sheet, got his point across before the disgraced claw-breaker went in to discover his fate, and his nine lives ran out.
Our brave moggie made her way through the throngs of reporters gathered outside Thames Magistrates’ Court, even taking a few photos in front of the court’s signage. The 27-year-old sourpuss defender, unsurprisingly, was not interested in learning.
However, it is unimportant. Our kitty returned to the scene as Zouma left court, ambushing the disgraced defender as he made his way back to his car, flanked by a group of heavies, after a good scratch and a nice pot of well-earned milk.
The Daily Star Sport cat couldn’t get away from Kurt Zouma.
The court heard that Kurt’s brother Yoan Zouma, who filmed and posted the footage, had 80 Snapchat followers and that only five accounts had seen it before it was deleted.
“Both of you were complicit in this heinous and reprehensible act with this pet cat,” District Judge Susan Holdham said. The cat looked to you for assistance with its needs. You did not provide for its needs on that date in February. You must understand that many young people look up to you and aspire to be like you.”
As Kurt Zouma walked out of the courtroom following his sentencing, he was ambushed.
“We condemn in the strongest terms any form of animal abuse or cruelty,” a West Ham spokesman said in a statement. This type of conduct is unacceptable and contradicts the football club’s values.
“We fined Kurt the maximum amount available to the club within 48 hours of the footage being released. Every penny of this money has now been donated to a number of worthy animal welfare organizations.
At Thames Magistrates Court, the kitty attempted to join the proceedings.
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
I’m not sure why Zouma didn’t want to interact with the cat from the Daily Star Sport.
“Kurt admitted that what he did was wrong at the first opportunity.” He has made an unequivocal apology. We hope that now that the court has rendered its decision, everyone will give Kurt the opportunity to learn from his error and move on.”
Zouma was arrested earlier this year after shocking footage of him slapping and kicking his cats went viral after being shared on Snapchat by his younger brother Yoan, 24, who admitted to one of the charges during the hearing last week.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Hammers manager David Moyes stood by Zouma, starting him in their 1-0 win over Watford the next day. Since the video surfaced in February, he has appeared 18 times, putting an end to rumors that Moyes would use his transfer fund to replace the French international this summer.
After a video of him kicking his cat went viral, West Ham defender Zouma was forced to apologise.
(Image: INTERNET PICTURE)
As the fallout from the shocking footage went cat-o-spheric, Zouma was forced to apologize, fined £250,000 by the Premier League club, and his animals were taken away by the RSPCA.
He admitted to two counts of inflicting unnecessary suffering on a protected animal during a court appearance last week.
Zouma can be seen kicking his Bengal cat across the kitchen, then slapping its head with a pair of shoes.
Our moggie waits for Kurt Zouma as he’s sentenced
(Image: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court that Zouma could be heard saying, “I swear I’ll kill it, I swear I’ll kill it,” after joining West Ham from Chelsea for £31 million last summer.
During last week’s hearing, Zouma’s younger brother Yoan, who plays for Dagenham & Redbridge in the National League, admitted to one offence.
Yoan, 24, has been offered a new contract by the Daggers for the 2022-23 season, the team announced Tuesday morning. He joined the Essex club in December but has only played eight times for the team so far.
Yoan was also given a 140-hour community service sentence and a five-year ban on owning cats.