By Daily Mail Reporter
A teenager has been charged over the death of a kitten which he allegedly drop-kicked 'like a rugby ball' - a distance of 40ft.
The 16-year-old is accused of causing criminal damage to the four-month-old black kitten.
Devastated owner Julie Duke, 45, said her daughter Tia, seven, had been in floods of tears since the incident.
She told how a horrified neighbour saw a teenage boy handling the beloved pet, called Tasmin, before he apparently took a running punt and booted her into the air.
The neighbour then alerted Julie who then found the stricken animal lying in a crumpled heap in the gutter.
Little Tia of Plymouth, Devon, said: 'I know that Tasmin is dead and it's too late for her but I just want these people to be caught so they won't do it to any other animals.'
She added: 'She was so important to me and I loved her very much and I have been left very upset by what has happened.'
Tia's mum Julie, who works as a meal time assistant at a local school, bought the cat for Tia as a Christmas present.
Devon and Cornwall police branded those responsible for the attack - which happened in March this year - as 'sick and cruel'.
A spokesman added: 'Officers were called to an address after a resident saw a young man 'pick up a cat and drop kick it into the air as if it were a rugby ball'.
'The witness heard the cat screech and land about 40 feet away.
'This was a sick and cruel attack on a defenceless animal and somebody's much loved pet.'
The 16-year-old was charged on Monday and will face magistrates at a hearing next week at Plymouth Youth Court.
Devon: A teenager has been charged over the death of a kitten which he allegedly drop-kicked 'like a rugby ball' in Plymouth