West Ham defender Kurt Zouma has faced legal repercussions for the video of him abusing a cat that emerged in February. Zouma pled guilty to two counts under the Animal Welfare Act when he appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court in East London on Tuesday.
The 27-year old Zouma apologized after the disturbing footage was shown in court and shared by his younger brother, Yoan, who also admitted to a cruelty offense during the hearing.
Yoan Zouma posted the original footage on Snapchat on Feb. 6. The video ended up being seen by a woman interacting with him on the social media platform, and she reported it to authorities.
Prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court that Kurt Zouma could be heard saying, “I swear I’ll kill it, I swear I’ll kill it.” Stevens also stated the abuse occurred after the Bengal cat allegedly damaged a chair in Zouma’s home.
During the hearing, Zouma pled guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. Yoan Zouma, meanwhile, admitted to one count of aiding, abetting, counseling, or procuring his brother to abuse the cat.
RSPCA chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy revealed he is pleased with Zouma’s guilty plea for kicking and slapping the cat. As a result of the incident, Zouma has agreed to re-home his two Bengal male cats.
West Ham fined Zouma for the incident and has subsequently made donations to nine different animal welfare charities in the United Kingdom. The club, however, didn’t cut ties with Zouma, as he still plays for the team.