A CATAPULT wielding teenager shot a stone within inches of a crying mother as a family feud “got out of hand”.

Kristen Cooper ripped off his shirt and shouted: “I’m going to burn your house down,” before pulling back the trigger on the offensive weapon.

With her three-year-old son stood next to her, the victim screamed for Cooper to stop firing as an on going argument between the tfamilies hit breaking point.It left the victim “fearing for her son’s safety...and my own”, Southampton Crown Court heard.

Cooper also appeared at the court after admitted burgling watches, shoes and cash from a summer house in Poulner.

Prosecutor Nicola Talbot-Hadley said a long-term dispute between the victim’s family and the Coopers, who live nearby, had reached a “bad point” just moments before Cooper fired the stones.

It was alleged that the victim’s partner had been involved in an incident, leading to the 19-year-old “taking matters into his own hands”.

As the victim stood outside, Ms Talbot-Hadley said, she could see Cooper and other family members running towards the house, her home in Wagtail Drive, New Milton,

Ms Talbot-Hadley added: “Cooper was striding across the green towards her and shouting abuse such as ‘I’m going to burn your house down’. She was scared because one of her children was with her and another was inside.

“She feared for their safety...she was completely petrified and concerned at what might happen.”

A stone struck the victim’s home but no damage was caused as a result.

Ms Talbot-Hadley said police were aware of the family feud and that both sides had a history of upsetting the other.

In a separate incident in December 2017, while under investigation for his role in using the catapult three months earlier, DNA evidence linked Cooper to the burglary, which left the summer house owner £500 worse off.

During the night, Cooper and two others were seen on CCTV entering the summer house. When the victim returned home the following morning his house had been “ransacked”, with draws emptied and belongings strewn across the property.

Keely Harvey, mitigating, said Cooper was “immature” for acting in the manner he did. She added Cooper, who works in tree maintenance, would pay back the money to the victim.

Cooper, of Westbury Close, Bransgore, pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon in a public place and burglary.

He was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, which includes the requirement to complete 22 sessions of a thinking skills programme, 16 rehabilitation activity requirement days, a 12-month curfew and pay £500 compensation.