Kurt Zouma pleads guilty to kicking, slapping his pet cat

West Ham defender Kurt Zouma pleaded guilty on Tuesday to kicking and slapping his pet cat in abuse caught on video.

The 27-year-old France international appeared at a Thames Magistrates’ Court hearing on charges of three offenses under the Animal Welfare Act in connection with the February 6 abuse footage that surfaced on social media.

Zuma pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, while another charge was dismissed. He will be judged on June 1.

Zuma arrived at the court in a car and was accompanied by a number of security guards who raised umbrellas to form a protective shield around him as he was pushed into court.

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Zuma’s younger brother, Yuan, filmed the cat-related incident and posted it on Snapchat.

Kurt Zouma is seen kicking his Bengal cat through his kitchen, before tossing it with a pair of shoes and hitting it in the head.

Prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court that Kurt Zouma could be heard saying, “I swear I will kill him. I swear I will kill him.” Stevens said the cats were held responsible by Zuma for damaging a chair in his home.

Stevens said: “Since this footage was in the public domain, there have been a large number of people beating up cats and posting them on various social media sites.

“Their behavior falls short of what is expected of a high-profile photo.”

Yuan Zuma pleaded guilty to aiding, abetting, advising or luring his brother to commit a crime. He was suspended in February by fifth tier team Dagenham.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals took Kurt Zouma’s two pets into care after the accident.

West Ham had fined Zuma two weeks’ salary – the maximum amount possible – when the incident surfaced, but manager David Moyes continued to select the defender to play when he was in good health. Zuma also lost a sponsorship deal with Adidas.

The RSPCA brought the case against the two brothers even though it did not have the authority to charge the people.

British law allows organizations like the RSPCA to use specialized lawyers to conduct private trials against individuals, with such cases being heard in court and sometimes taken by prosecutors.

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