Receptionist spared jail for punching sister-in-law in the head

Riding school receptionist, 39, is spared jail for punching her instructor sister-in-law in the head outside stable block after she complained she was useless at her job

  • Riding school receptionist Kirstie Whittingham went on the attack at stables 
  • She smacked her sister-in-law riding instructor in ears, eye and jaw in fight 
  • Victims Hayley Dickens was left with concussion and new hearing problems 
  • Whittingham was convicted of assault and was handed a community order 
  • A riding school receptionist who repeatedly punched her sister-in-law instructor outside a stable block after she complained that she was useless at her job has been spared jail.

    Kirstie Whittington, 39, was convicted of assaulting Hayley Dickens by striking her in the ears, eye and jaw on May 21 this year.

    Ms Dickens, whose mother owns Gillian’s Riding School in Enfield, north London, was treated in hospital and says she still has issues with hearing in her left ear.

    Judge Mervyn Mandell sentenced Whittington, of Enfield, to a 12-month community order and a nightly curfew for one month between 9.30pm and 6am. She is also banned from contacting Ms Dickens for a year.

    Mother-of-two Whittington had previously claimed that she had acted in self-defence after Ms Dickens attacked her.

    The defendant told Highbury Corner Magistrates’s Court that Ms Dickens had allegedly ‘gone off on a tirade’, saying she needed to ‘get off my a*** and do my job properly’.

    Mother-of-two Kirstie Whittington claimed she acted in self-defence but was convicted

    Hayley Dickens said she still has hearing problems six months after the stable side fight

    Kirstie Whittington (left) was convicted of assaulting sister-in-law Hayley Dickens (right) by striking her in the ears, eye and jaw on May 21 this year 

    Ms Dickens said there was confusion that day over what horses were allocated for her clients, causing disruption to her lessons.

    She felt it was ‘unprofessional’ and made a complaint in which she mentioned Whittington.

    ‘I came out of the horses’s stables and was confronted with her and she was quite clearly very upset about something,’ Ms Dickens said.

    ‘She then said to me if I ever have anything that I want to say to her I need to say it to her face. She was at this point… using her hands gesturing, pointing quite abruptly, aggressively towards me.

    ‘She then continued with, ”Don’t ever do anything like this again”. I then returned and said, ”Well if I’m not happy about something in the work place I’m going to report it, you can’t say that to me”.

    ‘She then said somethings I think to insult me – ”you’re embarrassing”, ”you’re a joke” – she was quite nasty.

    Ms Dickens's mother owns Gillian’s Riding School (pictured) in Enfield, north London

    Ms Dickens’s mother owns Gillian’s Riding School (pictured) in Enfield, north London

    ‘She then pulled her fists up and then proceeded to hit me repeatedly in the head with both fists. I had my hands up and was pushing her back. She hit me around three times by my right eye, she hit me over my right ear, she hit my left ear and left jaw. There was probably five or six blows that made contact with my head.’

    Lily Roberts-Phelps, defending, asked Ms Dickens: ‘You really don’t like Kirstie do you?’

    Ms Dickens replied: ‘I’m not her biggest fan. I’m not her best friend.’

    Ms Roberts-Phelps asked: ‘You really don’t like your brother do you?’

    ‘We don’t have the best relationship,’ Ms Dickens conceded.

    Ms Roberts-Phelps suggested her story was untrue and part of a ploy to get Whittington in trouble for ‘vengeance’.

    Whittington agreed she and Ms Dickens had ‘never had a close relationship as some sisters-in-law do’.

    Whittington denied but was convicted of assault occasioning them actual bodily harm.