Mother, 29, and friend, 33, convicted of assaulting neighbour, 49

Mother, 29, and friend, 33, accused neighbour, 49, of being a ‘smackhead’ then drunkenly beat her up when she complained about the dogs barking during late-night housewarming party

  • Joanne Wilson, 49, asked Kirsty Owen to stop her dogs barking late at night
  • Ms Wilson approached her neighbour who recently moved into the area 
  • Owen, 29, attacked Ms Wilson wrongly accusing her of being a drug dealer
  • Owen and her friend Claire Hanckock, 33,  were both convicted of assault  

A mother started a drunken fight at her own housewarming party when her next door neighbour complained her dogs were barking too loudly.

Kirsty Owen, 29, had been celebrating in the back garden of her new home when Joanne Wilson, 49, politely asked her to quieten her pets down as they were keeping her awake.

In response Owen shouted: ‘My dogs aren’t barking – You have no right coming into my back garden’ and then demanded Miss Wilson, herself a mother of one show her ‘respect’.

Kirsty Owen, left, and her accomplice Claire Hancock, right, pictured outside Bolton Magistrates’ Court have been released on bail pending sentence after being convicted of attacking Joanne Wilson


Joanne Wilson, 49, was attacked after asking her neighbour to keep control of her dogs. Owen wrongly branded Ms Wilson ‘a junkie’ and ‘a drug dealer’ during the altercation. Ms Wilson later died from an unrelated, pre-existing medical condition

She falsely accused Miss Wilson of being a ‘smackhead’ and a ‘drug dealer’ and began kicking and punching the victim before ripping clumps of hair from her head as a friend joined in.

Miss Wilson was left ‘covered in blood’ following the beating and had to be ushered back to her house by her partner and son. She suffered cuts, grazes and bruising to her face in the incident.

Police called to the house in Westhoughton, Greater Manchester following the midnight assault handcuffed a Owen who began sobbing as she was led away. She told officers: ‘I literally just moved in two days ago. I have two dogs and everything was fine until someone said one of them was barking.

‘I don’t go out of my way to upset people. I’m at my wits end. I was having a nice time until someone came into my back garden and started giving me grief.’

Owen, pictured, dared a second neighbour ‘to call the police’ during the incident on July 26, 2019 at her house in Westhoughton, Greater Manchester

At Bolton Magistrates’ court, Owen and a fellow guest Claire Hancock, 33, of Chadderton, near Oldham were convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. 

Miss Wilson passed away in November last year from a medical condition unrelated to the attack.

The incident occurred after Owen moved into the area and threw a party to celebrate on July 26 last year. During the evening another neighbour had already complained about the noise before Miss Wilson turned up to ask Owen to quieten her dogs.

In a statement read to the court Miss Wilson said: ‘I could hear a neighbours dog barking for around one and a half hours and I decided I’d had enough and got out of bed.

‘I knocked multiple times but nobody answered so I went to the side gate of the house and could hear lots of people shouting in the back garden. I shouted “hello” to get their attention and could see numerous people in the kitchen and back garden.

‘There was a girl who I assumed lived there, so I asked if her dogs were barking but she replied: “my dogs aren’t barking”. I said: “it must be next doors” but she said: “you have no right coming into my back garden, don’t be coming into my back garden again.” I just said “OK” and made my way back down the side of the house from where I had come only for her to stand right in my front of me.

‘She started being abusive towards me and was calling me all sorts of names like “smack head” and she said I was a “drug dealer”. I said: “don’t go there, I’m not a smack head or a drug dealer” but she said: “look at the state of you, you’re a smack head”. I said: “don’t go there”, at which point she went for me. She smacked me in the face with a closed fist on the right hand side.

‘She grabbed me by my hair with the other hand and then grabbed at my face like she was grabbing at my mouth. She pulled me to her by the hair and pulled me to the ground and she was on top of me. She had hold of my hair and started punching me all about my body and head. At one point she banged my head against the wall and was repeatedly kicking and punching me.

Claire Hancock, pictured, was also convicted of assault and will be sentenced on February 11

‘I couldn’t get up as I was wearing flip flops. When I was on the floor I saw a brunette girl, and she was kicking me as well. I started shouting “get off me” as loud as I could.

‘My partner must have heard me as he came running out of our house with my son. I saw my partner push the girl off me and stop her from getting to me.. I was disorientated and asked my son to help me up.

‘The blonde girl was still trying to punch and kick me even though my son grabbed me and helped me to my feet. During the attack I lost a large clump of hair which was pulled out by the blonde girl.’

Miss Wilson’s partner Jeff Cooper said: ‘When we in bed all we could hear was “yap, yap, yap” from that dog and Joanne went outside on her own to check who’s dog it was. I heard raised voices and found Joanne being attacked and I saw a small girl pull a handful of her hair out.

‘She was pulling her head back and punching her to the head, side of her face and all over her chest. As I got close I saw a girl with dark hair come running out of the house and she kicked Joanne, who was hunched over whilst still being pulled by the small girl.

‘We were trying to separate the girls whilst the small girl was shouting “she’s a druggie and drug dealer. You’re a f****** druggie, you smack head”. She was swearing a lot. We took Joanne home and took her to the bathroom We couldn’t see where she was bleeding from as there was so much blood.’

Another neighbour Chelsea Spivey, 25, who lives on the other side of Owen’s house said: ‘I asked Kirsty if she could please go back to her house as she was being quite loud and my son was sleeping.

‘But she gave me quite a nasty look and said she “doesn’t give a f*** about my son”. She was threatening me saying “go on, call the police, they won’t do anything so go call them”. So I called the police.

‘After midnight I heard another person say “excuse me” once or twice and asked politely if Kirsty could stop the dogs barking. But Kirsty got quite aggressive towards what the lady was saying and said she needed to show her some respect.

‘Kirsty then went for her, pulled the lady down by her hair and there was about five punches and three to four kicks. whilst Joanne was on the floor. The attack was totally uncalled for.’

Owen herself a mother of one who denied wrongdoing and claimed she acted in self defence. She told the hearing: ‘I hadn’t pulled at her hair – I just held her by the hair there wasn’t enough in my hand to make a wig.

‘I don’t expect to be accused of things that I know I definitely haven’t done. If the dog barking was annoying enough for her to come out of her house the sound of her shouting and gobbing off outside my house was really annoying me.

‘She was trying to punch me she couldn’t make contact with my face. In my mind it was all over a dog barking and it seemed so silly. I accept the injuries could have happened during the scuffle but I don’t accept that I have done them personally. She walks round with a walking stick – who’s to say she doesn’t fall over all the time.’

But JP Mark Hardman told her: ‘Your evidence given today together with that interview was inconsistent and vague. You did follow Joanne to the front of the house and started the altercation.’

Both Owen and Hancock were bailed pending sentence on February 11.

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