A CROWD gathered on a Worcester estate late at night when a gang of youths turned up threatening to burn a house down, a court was told in February 2015.

A full petrol can was found by police on the lawn, but there was no evidence that it had been splashed on the windows, said Paul Whitfield,prosecuting.

The youths had gone together in joint enterprise as a kind of vigilante group, he added. The court heard the gang had some dispute with a young member of the family, although it was never explained what their problem was.

One youth had a bottle of petrol and a lighter, trying to make a Molotov cocktail.

Ryan Price, aged 20, of Brookthorpe Close, Warndon, Worcester, Tommy Jauncey, 18, of Wentworth Road, Rugby, and a 17-year old who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty at Worcester Crown Court to threatening and having articles to destroy property.

Price and Jauncey were sent to a young offenders institution for ten months.

The 17-year-old was made the subject of a 12-month referral order.

Mr Whitfield said the family in the house in Randwick Drive had recently moved from Droitwich to re-settle in Worcester. The householder, Alison Hartnell, was shouted at.

Judge Richard Rundell said it must have been a terrifying experience to be confronted late at night by youths acting like a vigilante gang. The threat was that the house could be burnt down.

The 17-year-old was said to have 11 previous convictions for 14 offences. His barrister, Mark Sharman, said he had acted out of utter stupidity and had become a father while he was in custody on remand.

Judith Kenney,for Jauncey, said his girlfriend had also given birth recently. He had answered a knock a his door believed he was being called out to watch a fight.

Nicholas Berry, for Price, said he was remorseful and wished to apologise to Mrs Hartnell for the unpleasant offence.