A father and daughter have been convicted of manslaughter after they launched a fatal attack on a neighbour who popped a child's football then threw it back over the fence.

Kelly Machin from Leicester had been annoyed by balls landing in her back garden, so she burst one after weeks of complaints.

Leicester Crown Court had heard how the 34-year-old of Waldwick Close, Thorpe Astley, had had numerous arguments with Natalie Bollen, 28, who lived two doors away, over several months.

Machin had also been concerned about the noise caused by Bollen's children. On 23 August 2016, after the ball was punctured, Bollen decided to confront Machin and attacked her in her home. Machin died almost two weeks later.

Bollen was joined in the assault by her father, William Jelly, 48. The pair were found guilty of manslaughter on Thursday (4 May).

Terrified 999 call

The court had heard how Machin called 999 and told police that she was scared for her life when a group of women, led by Bollen, turned up at her home, shouting, "Come out, Kelly!"

At one point Bollen banged on her door, swearing and shouting: "You might not come out now, Kelly, but I'm gonna kill you!" the court heard.

After disappearing for 20 minutes, Bollen remerged with Jelly and Jelly's wife and they "barged their way into the house uninvited", said a friend of Machin's, according to the BBC.

Bollen then punched Machin about three times to the head while Jelly then punched or pushed her, causing her to fall over and land on a coffee table where she fractured her ribs.

"When she was on the floor, the defendants then left her curled up on the floor, crying and holding her ribs," said William Harbage, prosecuting.

Machin called emergency services while the defendants were still in the house, with 999 operators hearing her say: "They smashed my head up."

The defendants were also heard shouting aggressively at Machin. Jelly said: "Don't cross me, I'm the worst f*****g person to know."

Fatal injuries went undetected

Police officers and paramedics arrived at the property although it was not felt necessary that Machin went to hospital for treatment. Two days later she did attend hospital, but her injuries were regarded as not requiring emergency treatment.

However, the rib fractures caused 1.9l of blood to accumulate around her heart, which eventually stopped working on the weekend of 3/4 September.

Machin was found dead on her sofa after suffering breathing difficulties by her friend Winston Hinds on 5 September.

Detective Chief Inspector David Swift-Rollinson of East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: "A seemingly minor incident resulted in a person losing their life.

"While we're pleased that the two offenders have been found guilty, Kelly's family and friends are still feeling the loss of their loved one and hopefully this result will help them move on with their lives.

"The defendants' actions on that day were excessive and they attacked Kelly without regard for the consequences. They now face a lengthy prison sentence and two families have been left devastated."

Bollen and Jelly will be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court in June.