West Ham defender Kurt Zouma has pleaded guilty to kicking and slapping a cat after footage emerged of the incident in February.
Zouma hid his face and was surrounded by several security guards as he arrived at Thames Magistrates’ Court to appear alongside his brother Yoan.
He admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal on 6 February by kicking it in the abdomen and slapping it on the head.
The court was told about disturbing footage of the incident, filmed at Kurt Zouma’s home and posted on Snapchat by his brother.
Ms Stevens said the 40-second clip appeared to be carried out after the cats were deemed responsible for damaging a chair.
She said: “Kurt Zouma is determined to chastise or carry out some sort of retribution for the damage caused.”
She said the young woman who first saw the footage was so appalled that she cancelled a date with Yoan, saying: “I don’t think hitting a cat like that is OK – don’t bother coming today.”
Two cats are still under the care of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and Zouma has agreed they can be rehomed.
It was not possible to state whether it was the same cat in each section of footage, but experts said whichever animal had been struck would have likely suffered soft tissue damage to the head, as well as mental and physical suffering.
Kurt Zouma was forced to apologise and West Ham fined their player in relation to the incident and made donations to nine animal welfare charities in the UK and overseas.
Sentencing has been adjourned until 1 June.
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