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West Ham’s Zouma given 180 hours of community service for kicking his cat

FILE PHOTO: West Ham United’s Kurt Zouma leaves Thames Magistrates Court in London, Britain, May 24, 2022. REUTERS/Matthew Childs

(Reuters) -West Ham United defender Kurt Zouma has been ordered to do 180 hours of community service and banned from keeping cats for five years after pleading guilty to kicking and slapping his pet cat, a London court ruled on Wednesday.

Zouma admitted two offences under the Animal Welfare Act at the Thames Magistrates’ Court last month after a viral video, filmed by his brother Yoan and posted on social media in February, showed him dropping one of his cats and kicking it across the floor.

The Frenchman’s brother was sentenced to 140 hours of community service.

“Both of you took part in this disgraceful and reprehensible act with this pet cat,” said district judge Susan Holdham. “The cat looked up to you to care for its needs. On that date in February you did not provide for its needs.”

Zouma’s two Bengal cats have since been placed under the care of animal charity RSPCA.

The 27-year-old, who was fined by West Ham for the incident, lost his sponsorship deal with sportswear brand Adidas and was also jeered by fans during a Premier League game against Watford in February.

Zouma, however, continued to enjoy the support of manager David Moyes and made 33 appearances across competitions as West Ham finished seventh in the league and reached the semi-finals of the Europa League.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in BengaluruEditing by Christian Radnedge)