TWO women who punched and kicked a neighbour who complained about late night dog barking have been given community sentences.

Joanne Wilson, whose subsequent death was unrelated to the attack, had gone to Kirsty Owen's Pinfold Close, Westhoughton home after her sleep was disturbed by the noise.

But Owen, who was having a party at the time, became aggressive towards 49-year-old Ms Wilson and attacked her, along with fellow party-goer Claire Hancock.

The assault ended when Ms Wilson's partner and son came to her aid and helped her home, bleeding and bruised.

Owen, aged 30, and Hancock, aged 33, of Wilmot Street, Halliwell and formerly of Laburnum Avenue, Chadderton, denied causing Ms Wilson actual bodily harm but were convicted following a two day trial at Bolton Magistrates' Court.

Magistrates had heard how Ms Wilson’s sleep was being disturbed on July 26 last year so she got out of bed and went to try to find the source of the barking.

But neighbour Kirsty Owen, who was hosting a party, objected to her entering the back garden of her home when she could not get and answer by knocking on the front door.

Owen denied her dogs were barking and is alleged to have aggressively shouted: “You have no right coming in my back garden.”

As Ms Wilson was leaving, Owen attacked her on the driveway and Hancock joined in. Ms Wilson was repeatedly punched and kicked and had her hair pulled out.

Darin Millar, defending Owen, who has no previous convictions referred to a pre-sentence report compiled about her by probation officers.

He said: "She is remorseful and accepts she should not have resorted to physical violence.

"She is particularly regretful that the victim has since died for unrelated matters and that she will never be able to rectify the situation and this saddens her."

Kevin Liston, defending Hancock, stressed that the single mother-of-one had not started the altercation, had no shoes on when she kicked Ms Wilson and, following publicity about the case, has lost her job.

"While, to her grave, she will say 'I don't believe I did anything wrong,' she has accepted the court's decision," said Mr Liston.

Magistrates sentenced Owen to a12 month community order with a 7pm to 7am curfew for 26 weeks and 25 days of rehabilitation activities.

Hancock was also given a 12 month community sentence, ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work and must participate in 20 days of rehabilitation activities.

Each woman must also take part in a wiser women's programme and pay £590 in costs and charges.