West Ham United centre back Kurt Zouma has pleaded guilty to two offences under the animal cruelty act after appearing at a hearing at Thames Magistrates Court this morning.

The 27-year-old France international, dressed in a black suit and white shirt, covered his face and was hurried past photographers alongside two umbrella-carrying bodyguards as he arrived at court for the hearing alongside his brother Yoan, 24, after a case taken by the RSPCA in relation to a video posted online on February 6 which allegedly showed him harming one of his cats.

He has pleaded guilty to two counts of causing “unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, by kicking and slapping a cat”, in contravention of section 4 subsection 1 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. A third charge of failing to “protect the animal from pain suffering injury or disease” in contravention of section 9 was withdrawn.