CAT-kicking coward Kurt Zouma permanently deregistered his pets yesterday as the disgraced Premier League defender admitted to animal cruelty.
Pictures showed the Bengals playing while recovering in the care of the RSPCA, but experts warned of long-term trauma caused by the ailing footballer’s “premeditated” attacks.
Jail time is not off the table when the West Ham star is sentenced next month.
And yesterday The Sun’s brave whistleblower said: “What he did was disgusting and prison isn’t too extreme.”
Zouma’s lawyer argued his sentence should be limited to a fine, saying he lost a “essential” Adidas contract and was fined £250,000 by West Ham.
But Judge Susan Holdham replied dryly: “I read that’s two weeks’ pay.”
We revealed in February that Zouma was filmed by brother Yoan “kicking” his pet while his seven-year-old son looked on.
The Sun’s source said: “His son looked scared and he probably loved those cats.
“Now they are gone forever. How can an adult behave like that and do that to his own child?”
The RSPCA decided to prosecute the brothers after we handed over our evidence dossier.
Around 9.30am yesterday, older brother Kurt, 27, got off a people carrier to be met at the court by security guards believed to have been hired by West Ham.
The 6ft 3in France centre-back pulled his hood up over his face and crouched behind three heavyweights as he walked into the building.
Meanwhile, 24-year-old Yoan, who plays for non-League Dagenham & Redbridge, arrived without an entourage at Thames Magistrates’ Court in Bow, east London.
At 10:36 a.m., the brothers entered the dock, where they both confessed to animal cruelty.
Dressed in a black suit and open-necked white shirt, West Ham star Zouma was unable to look as sickening footage of the attack played.
The court heard he passed out on February 6 after one of two Bengal cats broke a vase and damaged a chair at his £2million home.
RSPCA prosecutor Hazel Stevens said Zouma launched a “premeditated” attack on the animals, which was filmed by Yoan and later posted on Snapchat.
The footage began with the caption “ça begin,” French for “here we go,” and showed Zouma picking up a cat.
He then returns to the kitchen before dropping him and then kicking him in the stomach and across the floor.
As the frightened pet runs away, Yoan is heard laughing.
“I swear I’ll kill it”
The shared footage, which is littered with laughing emojis, then shows Zouma throwing a shoe at a cat.
You can hear him say; “I slam – do you want a fight? Where is it? Where is it?” Then he adds, “I’ll kill it, I swear I’ll kill it.”
Zouma’s distraught son, aged seven, is seen picking up the Bengal before his father says, “Come closer, come closer.”
As he approaches, Zouma is filmed hitting the cat on the head and spreading it across a countertop before running off.
Ms Stevens told the court Yoan ended the clip by saying of the cat: “Damn. Poor guy.”
A day later, Yoan sent the video to a woman he wanted to date.
But she replied: “I don’t think it’s okay to hit a cat like that – the cat doesn’t know what it’s doing. Don’t bother coming today.”
When Yoan tried to tell her it was his brother in the video, she replied, “He’s your family and that represents you. It’s very cruel.
“I don’t want to mess with people who find this funny, especially in front of a child.”
Both cats were then confiscated by the RSPCA. The court heard that two experts examined her three days later.
One, a veterinarian, said it was likely the cat who was kicked in the stomach suffered soft tissue trauma, causing her pain and discomfort and causing her stress and anxiety.
An animal behavior expert also said both cats are likely more afraid of humans due to the cruelty shown towards them.
Ms Stevens said there have been copycat attacks on other animals since then.
She said of the defendants: “You both have a responsible position as a footballer.
“They are role models whose actions are copied. Their behavior falls short of what is expected of a high profile image.”
Zouma, who was an ambassador for a big cat charity, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Yoan admitted to one charge of aiding, abetting, consulting, or procuring an animal welfare crime.
Two other charges against the men were dropped.
All sentencing options remain open – including jail with a possibility of up to five years. Judge Holdham ordered reports ahead of a hearing next Wednesday.
The brothers are also likely to be subject to animal husbandry bans.
The source who sounded the alarm said if Zouma doesn’t go to jail he should still “publicly pay the price”.
They said: “I hope he gets some kind of community service where he has to work with animals and learn how to treat them humanely.
“He’ll hate it, but he should publicly pay the price for his actions. The Sun and the RSPCA have done extremely well – this is the result I wanted.”
They added: “What he did was appalling. He was an ambassador for a big cat charity, for Christ’s sake.
“This video showed that there was nothing humanitarian about him.
“It’s really important that when people see something like this, people speak up and speak up. I’m really glad they were made to face what they did.”
The court was told the animals are now safe, although they have not yet been relocated.
But the RSPCA asked Sun readers not to offer any help as they are currently besieged with cases.
The RSPCA’s Dermot Murphy said: “It is never acceptable to treat an animal in this way and we were shocked when the video was first brought to our attention.
“What makes this case even sadder is the way the video was filmed and shared, making this atrocity light-hearted. We hope this case will serve as a reminder that all animals deserve to be treated with kindness, compassion and respect and that we will not tolerate cruelty from anyone.”
ADDRESS GAG ORDER
Lawyers for Kurt Zouma were yesterday issued a gag order to prevent the media from identifying the city or county where he lives.
Judge Susan Holdham agreed that the publication was “reckless” because it issued a Section 11 order of contempt of court, which is normally reserved for national security cases.
The motion was supported by lawyers for Zouma’s brother. It means details of neither address can be released – despite the fact that the name of Kurt’s town has been widely used on the internet.
Newspaper groups opposed the decision.
Zouma’s lawyer, Trevor Burke QC, added that his client had faced racist “kill threats” on social media, saying the attacks were “the worst the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) has ever seen”.
He said Prem star Zouma now has “24-hour security.”
Mr Burke said social media companies had shut down 100 accounts and police were investigating 150.
Charges are likely in seven cases, he said.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5413520/kurt-zouma-signs-away-pets-animal-cruelty/ Cat-kicking coward Kurt Zouma turns pets away while disgraced West Ham star admits cruelty to animals