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West Ham United defender Kurt Zouma will be forced to pick up litter and clear mucky canals as part of his community service after his hopes of carrying out activities in private were denied.
The £30million centre-back was sentenced by a court to 180 hours of community service after pleading guilty of mistreating his cat. He has also been banned from owning cats for five years after a horrific video appeared on social media which showed him kicking and slapping the feline.
Zouma caused outrage when he subjected the cat to abuse in his £2m home in front of his seven-year-old son, with the video filmed by his brother. He could be heard yelling "I'll kill it", with the two Bengal cats are now in the process of being permanently rehomed.
It was believed Zouma was keen on pursuing the chance to be able to do his unpaid service from home due to a huge backlog as a result of Covid, with some offenders able granted the chance to do so. But the disgraced footballer, along with his 24-year-old brother Yoan, has been told by probation officers to carry out his service in public, according to The Sun.
As is standard with community service, the pair will be facing wearing hi-vis vests and doing chores such as shovelling, picking up litter, clearing mucky canals, painting and covering up graffiti.
And the length of their service means the Frenchman faces spending the entirety of the summer months serving the time for his crime, which could filter into the new Premier League season.
The Zouma brothers both admitted the charges in May at Thames Magistrates Court and were confronted by a man in a giant cat costume. Kurt Zouma pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat, after blaming the family pet for damaging a chair.
He was also sentenced to a 12-month community order with 180 hours of unpaid work, with a fine of £8,887, while his brother received a slightly lesser punishment of 140 hours for his part in filming and uploading the video to Snapchat.
West Ham chose to discipline the player with by fining his two weeks wages — to the tune of £250,000 – and he has been dropped by sponsors such as Adidas following the incident.
However, manager David Moyes has continued to play him while the case was ongoing, with Zouma the target of ridicule from opposition fans.
The RSPCA, who prosecuted the case, were satisfied with the outcome as its chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy said: “We are pleased there has been swift justice in this awful case and our focus now is matching these beautiful cats to the loving homes they deserve.
"This case sends a really clear message that animals should never be treated like this, and posting videos of animals being harmed on social media for likes is abhorrent.”
- West Ham FC
- Premier League
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