Man injured teen with catapult after supermarket row

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A Dereham man slingshotted a ball bearing at a teenager at Tesco - Credit: PA

A man used a catapult to fire a ball bearing at a teenager who had been “taking the mickey” out of a family member, a court has heard.

Ephrel Lee fired the slingshot, normally used for fishing bait, at a 17-year-old boy, hitting him just above the ankle on September 14 last year. 

King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday (January 27) that Lee, 51, was at Tesco in Dereham at the time of the incident.

Prosecutor Denise Holland said: “Rightly or wrongly, the boy was taking the mickey out of [the family member] and calling [them] derogatory names.

“Mr Lee is seen to drive away, stop his vehicle, get out and you see a movement with his hand. The complainant feels a hit to his shin.

“There was a slingshot with a ball bearing towards [the youth] and that has connected.”

Lee, of Norwich Street, Dereham, pleaded guilty to common assault on the boy, who cannot be identified due to a court order.

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Richard Mann, mitigating, said: “He’s properly cross that he’s ended up here.”

The court was told that Lee and the family member had been the subject of derogatory comments by schoolchildren for a long time.

Mr Mann said that, when his client challenged the abuse on this occasion, the boy took his jacket off and was preparing to fight.

“[Lee] got this catapult he says he uses for fishing and used it to say ‘stay away’,” said the solicitor. “He was aiming for his feet.”

Mr Mann said the boy then smashed the wing mirror off the defendant’s car, for which he was given a community resolution and ordered to pay £50.

Lee was fined £200 and ordered to pay a £34 victim surcharge.