'Rocky Balboa' woman avoids jail for pulling neighbour's hair out

Woman dubbed ‘Rocky Balboa’ after beating her ex-husband avoids jail for pulling large clump of hair out of her female neighbour’s head during vicious catfight

  • Jill Pettafor had eight previous offences on her record including battery
  • She attacked a mother-of-one in a fit of rage over their feud about two dogs 

A woman dubbed ‘Rocky Balboa’ by her own defence lawyer has avoided jail after she pulled a large clump of hair out of her female neighbour’s head during a vicious attack.

Divorcee Jill Pettafor, 55,, who has a track record of violence against family members and her ex-husband, ‘charged’ at mother of one Kaye Whittaker in a car park after the pair became embroiled in a bitter feud over their pet dogs. 

She has now been ordered to pay her victim £200 in damages.

During the assault Pettafor, of Ainsdale, near Southport, was said to have grabbed her victim’s hair with such force that a large clump came out.

She later said she attacked the victim in a fit of rage after barely getting any sleep whilst caring for her own mother.

Pettafor had eight previous offences on her record, including common assault and battery upon her ex-husband and other family members.

Jill Pettafor, 55, was even nicknamed ‘Rocky’ by her own defence lawyer after she tore a patch of hair out of her neighbour’s scalp

She was given a 10-week suspended sentence and told to pay the victim £200 in compensation at Sefton Magistrates’ Court

Her own lawyer called her ‘Rocky’ after the boxer played by Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone in the movie franchise.

At Sefton magistrates court, Pettafor pleaded guilty to assault and was handed a 10-week sentence suspended for 24 months. 

She was also ordered to undertake 20 days of rehabilitative activity with the probation service.

Jenna Cooney, prosecuting, said: ‘On 17th of October of last year, police were called to an ongoing neighbour despite. 

‘During this time the defendant charged at the victim and grabbed her hair pulling her into a carpark.

‘She was pulled with such force that a large clump came out. There was use of substantial force. We are also seeking compensation for the victim for her injuries.’

In mitigation defence lawyer Mark Ellis told the court: ‘The defendant and the complainant live side by side in a block of flats and she is deeply ashamed of having committed this offence and assaulting Miss Whittaker in the manner described. 

‘There is no watering down what happened.’

Mr Ellis said that Pettafor, who has angina, and the victim had been friends for a number of years before falling out over the ownership of two dogs.

He added that at the time of the offence she had been splitting time between her own home and her mother’s, who has dementia.

Pettafor was also ordered to undertake 20 days of rehabilitative activity with the probation service

Mr Ellis said: ‘At the time of the offence, she spent several days there and had slept very little.

‘She returned home, encountered Ms Whittaker and it was like a red rag to a bull. 

‘She did lash out and grab the lady’s hair and it was recorded on the lady’s partner’s phone.’

He said since the attack there have been no incidents between the pair: ‘Although their paths have crossed, the defendant had made no attempt to intimidate or harass her in any shape or form.’

 He added: ‘She tells me that she began drinking when she and her husband divorced. It was a very acrimonious divorce. The gentleman did not treat her well at all.

‘She is not fit for unpaid work as she suffers from angina. A curfew, she will struggle with as she goes backwards and forwards to her mother’s house.’

Sentencing Pettafor, JP Angela McIntyre told her: ‘Your conduct on the day was unacceptable. It was an unprovoked attack causing significant harm and because of your previous convictions, it has crossed the custody threshold.

‘However, because of your ill health, your caring responsibilities for your mother, your previous good compliance with the probation service and because there is a good prospect of rehabilitation we are going to suspend it for two years.’

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