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EXCLUSIVE: West Ham’s Kurt Zouma was bombarded with racist abuse and death threats on social media after footage surfaced of him kicking his cat – with police launching an investigation while Instagram suspend over 100 accounts
- Kurt Zouma was threatened with being shot and sexually abused after a video surfaced this year of him kicking his cat
- The West Ham defender appeared in court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to two counts under the Animal Welfare Act
- Instagram have suspended over 100 accounts linked to the Zouma threats
Essex police are investigating a flurry of abusive private messages sent to defender Kurt Zouma in which he is repeatedly called the ’N-word’ and targeted with chilling death threats in the aftermath of the infamous cat-kicking episode.
The 27-year-old Frenchman pleaded guilty to two counts under the Animal Welfare Act when he appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court in east London on Tuesday morning.
Footage emerged in February of Zouma – and his brother Yoan – abusing a cat which eventually led to the pair being prosecuted by the RSPCA.
West Ham defender Kurt Zouma, 27, appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court in east London on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to two counts under the Animal Welfare Act
Zouma has been targeted with abuse and death threats since video surfaced of him kicking his cat and police have launched an investigation
But unusually, the court agreed for Zouma’s address to be withheld, at the request of his lawyer.
And Sportsmail can disclose some of the horrifying messages sent to Zouma on social media that compelled the judge not to reveal the former Chelsea defender’s address amid obvious concerns over the players safety.
In the messages seen by Sportsmail, Zouma and his family are threatened with sexual assault. Zouma is repeatedly called a monkey and the ’N-word’.
Zouma is also told he will be shot and stabbed. The central defender is also told that he will be left disabled, while another threatens to cut off various limbs.
A statement from an Essex Police spokesman told Sportsmail: ‘We received a report on April 8 of an allegation of malicious communications.
‘Our enquiries are ongoing, and we continue to work with social media platforms to identify those responsible.’
The Premier League are also understood to be aware of the messages.
Kurt Zouma was forced to apologise after a video of him kicking his cat went viral in February
It is understood Instagram have suspended over 100 accounts in relation to the threats made to West Ham defender Zouma (centre)
Sportsmail understands that Instagram have suspended the accounts of over 100 users linked to the abuse Zouma has received.
In making a successful application for the judge to prohibit publication of his address, Trevor Burke QC, defending said: ‘Mr Zouma, as a result of this video being posted on the internet, has received racial abuse over the internet that is the worst the FA has ever experienced. It is grotesque.’
Zouma, who has been fined by West Ham, has apologised after the footage was shared by his younger brother Yoan, 24, who admitted one offence during the hearing on Tuesday.