A 12-year-old boy was charged with assault and taken before the courts - for throwing a cocktail sausage.
The boy's mother described the prosecution as a joke
The boy was accused of throwing the pork snack at a 74-year-old man in Woodhouse Park, south Manchester.
He denied the charge in a hearing at a Manchester Youth Court, where the judge questioned the decision to prosecute.
Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are now reviewing the case, which the boy's mother described as an "utter joke".
She told the BBC: "They came to arrest him in my house, they took him into a police van. They took him to Elizabeth Slinger [police station], put him in a cell, took his photographs, his fingerprints, then interviewed him.
"And then they decided to charge him with common assault - with a sausage.
"It had quite a bit of an effect on him. He couldn't sleep. He takes sleeping tablets anyway - but they didn't work."
Asked whether she accepted that he needed to be punished, she told the BBC: "Definitely yes, but not to the extent that they have gone."
The incident involving the boy, who cannot be named, was alleged to have taken place on 11 August.
The victim, who believed he had been hit with a stone, told police it was the latest in a series of incidents in which he had been intimidated by local youths.
Charging the boy was the only option because he had previously been issued with three reprimands, a GMP spokeswoman said.
"The officer's decision to charge was completely in line with standard procedure, and took all available information into consideration," she added.
"Greater Manchester Police takes all incidents of anti-social behaviour very seriously and they are investigated thoroughly."
The police and CPS are now jointly reviewing the prosecution, she added.