Man and daughter jailed for killing neighbour over burst football

Natalie Bollen and William Jelly Image copyright Leicestershire police
Image caption Natalie Bollen and William Jelly had not shown "any remorse", according to the judge

A father and daughter who launched a fatal attack on a neighbour who punctured a child's football have each been jailed for seven years.

Natalie Bollen and William Jelly assaulted Kelly Machin, 34, on the day she deflated the ball using a knife.

Ms Machin, who had been fed up with balls landing in her back garden in Leicester, died two weeks after the attack, which happened on 23 August.

Bollen, 28, and Jelly, 48, were convicted of manslaughter last month.

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Sentencing them at Leicester Crown Court, Judge Nicholas Dean QC said that neither had shown "any remorse" for having caused Ms Machin's death.

'Almost triumphant'

"After these events you, Natalie Bollen, sought to protect your father knowing he had been responsible for pushing over Kelly Machin - you denied he had been present," said the judge.

"You also seemed to have been pleased with what you and your father had done, boasting in messages that you had assaulted Kelly Machin.

"After Kelly Machin's death you, Natalie Bollen, responded to a text message in an almost triumphant way; 'Yep, dead and gone'."

Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Kelly Machin died about two weeks after the attack

The court heard that Ms Machin had been concerned about the excessive noise made by Bollen's children, and bothered by them regularly kicking balls into her garden.

On 23 August, she punctured a ball with a knife, which led to a confrontation in which she was punched by Bollen and pushed or punched to the ground by Jelly.

The court heard how they barged their way into Ms Machin's house uninvited.

Her injuries were assessed by paramedics, but she was not admitted to hospital.

She continued experiencing severe pain and was eventually taken to hospital on 28 August, but her injuries were regarded as not requiring emergency treatment.

But Ms Machin, who lived two doors down from Bollen in Waldwick Close, was found dead at her home on 5 September, having died "alone and in pain" either on 3 or 4 September.

The court heard that rib injuries had caused 1.9 litres of blood to gradually accumulate around her heart, which stopped working.

Judge Dean described it as an "unusual case" and said that Ms Machin was a "vulnerable individual".

He said the impact of her death had been "profound" and would be enduring for her family.

Det Ch Insp Martin Smalley said: "A seemingly minor incident resulted in a person losing their life.

"The defendants' actions on that day were excessive and they attacked Kelly without regard for the consequences."

How did Kelly die?

  • On 23 August 2016, Natalie Bollen pounded on Kelly Machin's door along, with several other people, shouting: "You might not come out now Kelly, but I'm gonna kill ya."
  • About 20 minutes later, Bollen barged into the house along with her father William Jelly
  • They punched and hit Kelly in her living room - causing her to fall and hit the coffee table which resulted in her breaking five ribs
  • She called 999 after the attack and complained of pain in her back
  • She was seen by paramedics but did not go to hospital
  • She called for an ambulance several times in the next few days and eventually went to hospital on 29 August where she had a CT scan
  • Doctors were not able to discuss the results with her as she had already left the hospital
  • They wanted to perform a small operation to stop internal bleeding but Kelly seemed worried about that option
  • She died on her sofa two weeks after the attack from a build-up of blood in her chest cavity caused by the broken ribs and damage to her arteries

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