A woman who was sick of children’s balls landing in her garden was beaten to death by neighbors after she punctured one of them.
Prosecutors say Kelly Machin, 34, had long complained about the noise made by neighbor Natalie Bollen’s children and about their balls landing in her garden in Leicester, England, the BBC reports. After she burst a soccer ball with a knife before throwing it back on Aug. 23 last year, Bollen and her father, William Jelly, pushed their way into her home and assaulted her, prosecutors say. Bollen punched Machin several times before Jelly pushed her over a coffee table, which fractured five ribs and caused internal injuries that led to her death almost two weeks later, per the Leicester Mercury.
“When she was on the floor, the defendants then left her curled up on the floor crying, and holding her ribs,” prosecutor William Harbage told Leicester Crown Court this week. The local hospital didn’t consider her injuries severe enough to require emergency treatment, but she died after the fractures caused blood to slowly accumulate around her heart. She died “alone and in pain, with significant breathing difficulties,” Harbage said.
The jury found 28-year-old Bollen and Jelly, who denied responsibility for the death, guilty of manslaughter, and they will be sentenced next month. Jelly, 48, was hospitalized after collapsing in court before the verdict was read. (Read about another extreme crime involving an English garden.)