A WOMAN who callously hit and kicked a neighbour following a row about dogs barking has lost an appeal against her conviction.

At Bolton Crown Court Judge Sophie McKone told Kirsty Owen that her account of the incident lacked credibility and she had been “lucky” to have only received a community sentence when she was originally convicted.

Victim, 49-year-old Joanne Wilson, died of a cause unrelated to the attack before the trial of Owen and her friend Claire Hancock at Bolton Magistrates’ Court in February.

Owen, aged 31 and Hancock, 34, had denied causing actual bodily harm but were convicted with Owen sentenced to a 7pm to 7am curfew for 26 weeks and 25 days of rehabilitation activities.

Hancock was ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work plus 20 days of rehabilitation activities.

The two women were drinking with others at Owen’s home in Pinfold Close, Westhoughton, where she had moved just weeks earlier, when Ms Wilson came into the garden.

It was late at night on July 26 last year and Ms Wilson complained about noise from dogs barking while Owen denied her pets were responsible.

Following a row, 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.

But at an appeal hearing, Owen insisted that she had been defending herself when Ms Wilson tried to attack her and she sat on top of her, pinning her to the ground to prevent her causing injury. Her account was disputed by Ms Wilson’s son and a neighbour.

When questioned by Verity Quaite, for the Crown, as to why her account in court differed from that given when she was interviewed by police Owen replied: “I didn’t want her [Ms Wilson] to get into trouble.”

Owen sat with her hand on her head as Judge McKone, sitting with two magistrates, dismissed her appeal.

Judge McKone stated: “We do not accept the evidence of the appellant. She has given two different accounts as to what happened. First in interview when she says she can’t really remember what happened and then given a very detailed and clear explanation now for us.

“We find her explanation as to why there was that change, namely to protect the complainant and because she didn’t want to speak to the police as wholly unconvincing.

“She was drunk and angry when the complainant came to her house, She was angry enough not to let the matter go. We are satisfied she was looking for trouble.”

Joshua Bowker, for Owen, said she was not seeking to appeal the sentence.

“That is very wise,” replied Judge McKone. “She is very lucky with the sentence that she got.”