West Ham release statement after Kurt Zouma avoids jail and is handed community service following cat kicking shame

KURT ZOUMA avoided a jail sentence for his cat-kicking shame.

The West Ham defender has been sentenced to 180 hours of community service and banned from owning cats for five years – as well as paying nearly £9,000 in court costs.

Zouma, 27, pleaded guilty last week at Thames Magistrates’ Court to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

His brother Yoan has been sentenced to 140 hours of community service after admitting one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his brother to commit an offence.

The Sun exclusively revealed on February 6 that the French international was filmed kicking and slapping his pet cats at his mansion after it had been uploaded to social media.

Zouma was fined £250k by West Ham and was dropped by a number of sponsors – including Adidas – but boss David Moyes continued to select him for matches.

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A West Ham statement said: “West Ham United can confirm that Kurt Zouma has been handed a community service order following an investigation by the RSPCA.

“West Ham United wishes to make clear that we condemn in the strongest terms any form of animal abuse or cruelty. This type of behaviour is unacceptable and is not in line with the values of the football club.

“Within 48 hours of the footage emerging, we fined Kurt the maximum available to the club.

“Every single penny of this money is now with a number of deserving charities, all dedicated to animal welfare.

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“Kurt admitted at the earliest opportunity that what he did was wrong. He has apologised without reservation.

“We hope that now the court has reached its decision, everyone will allow Kurt the chance to learn from his mistake and move on.”

District judge Susan Holdham labelled it a “disgraceful and reprehensible act”.

She added: “Kurt Zouma, you were the owner of two cats. That cat looked to you to care for its needs.

“But on the 4th of February you caused unnecessary suffering for your own amusement.

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“In mitigation neither of you have prior convictions. I accept this is an isolated incident and both of you have expressed genuine remorse.”

Yoan did not make a National League appearance for Dagenham and Redbridge after the incident became public before eventually being reinstated and earning a contract extension.

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