Furious pensioner who tried to hit neighbour with car ran over own wife instead

·3-min read
Michael Goodenough.  A long-running neighbours’ dispute ended in violence when a pensioner deliberately reversed his car at the woman next-door – only to run over his own wife.  See SWNS story SWMDrage.  And after Michael Goodenough’s ‘display of small-minded petulance’ left his wife with a crush fracture to her spine, he stormed off, leaving his neighbours to care for her.  Goodenough (73) of Despard Road, Eastern Green, Coventry, was jailed for 15 months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to inflicting grievous bodily harm.  Prosecutor David Jackson said that Goodenough’s intended victim was Michelle Palmer, who had lived next-door to him and his wife Lynda for the past 30 years.  At first relationships were fine, ‘but things turned sour around 27 years ago over a wall the Palmers built to replace a fence alongside an entry between the two properties.  Matters came to a head in July 2019 when the Palmers were helping their son Joshua move some furniture into their home on a flat-bed truck which was driven down the entry and parked next to their rear gate.
Michael Goodenough, 73, from Coventry, has been jailed for 15 months. (SWNS)

A pensioner who tried to run over his neighbour has been jailed after his car struck his wife instead, breaking her spine.

Michael Goodenough, 73, from Coventry, West Midlands, was sentenced to 15 months in prison after he admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm.

He tried to reverse his white Mercedes at next-door neighbour Michelle Palmer, but accidentally knocked down his wife, Lynda, 72, Warwick Crown Court heard.

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His wife was taken to hospital and treated for a broken spine after the incident, in July 2019.

Goodenough, a father of three, had lived next door to Palmer for 30 years but they fell out in 1994 when she built a wall between their properties, the court heard.

A wall the Palmers built to replace a fence alongside an entry between the two properties. Michelle Palmer's home (L) and Michael and Lynda Goodenough's home (R), on Despard Road, Eastern Green, Coventry.  See SWNS story SWMDrage  A long-running neighbours’ dispute ended in violence when a pensioner Michael Goodenough deliberately reversed his car at the woman next-door Michelle Palmer – only to run over his own wife Lynda Goodenough.   And after Michael Goodenough’s ‘display of small-minded petulance’ left his wife with a crush fracture to her spine, he stormed off, leaving his neighbours to care for her.  Goodenough (73) of Despard Road, Eastern Green, Coventry, was jailed for 15 months after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to inflicting grievous bodily harm.  Things turned sour around 27 years ago over a wall the Palmers built to replace a fence alongside an entry between the two properties.
Michael Goodenough was in a dispute with his next-door neighbours about an alleyway between their properties. (SWNS)

On the day of the crash, Goodenough deliberately blocked an alleyway between their homes with his car before Palmer started filming him with her phone.

Judge Peter Cooke told Goodenough: "You tried to reverse your car into the lady next door and hurt her, and you ended up running over your own wife and causing her a crush fracture to her spine.

“You did not just take a risk that you would hurt Mrs Palmer by driving recklessly, you intended to do so.

“That is why to prison you must go.

Michael Goodenough
Michael Goodenough admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm. (SWNS)

“What I have seen on that video is a display of petty, small-minded petulance by all concerned.

“Mrs Palmer knew full well it would only serve to wind you up further when she came up alongside your car filming you with her phone.

“This is an episode which reflects very badly on all concerned, but you were the one who initiated it by the boxing-in of your neighbours for using an alleyway you regarded as your own territory.

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“I see no signs of any real remorse, and on the day itself you stormed off into the house, leaving your wife to be tended by the neighbours you hate so much.”

Prosecutor David Jackson said the neighbours were initially friendly but fell out 27 years ago.

He said “matters came to head” in July 2019 when the Palmers were helping their son move some furniture into their home from a truck parked in the alleyway.

The court heard Goodenough used his car to block in the truck, causing an argument.

Goodenough then reversed slowly at Palmer, who was “seen pressing her hands against the rear window” as it forced her backwards.

General view of the Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington Spa.
Michael Goodenough was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court to 15 months in prison. (PA)

His wife then came out the house to speak to her husband before walking behind the car towards Palmer.

Jackson said: “As his wife walked back towards Mrs Palmer, Goodenough suddenly reversed while she was behind the car, knocking her to the ground and going over her."

The court heard Goodenough stormed back into his home as the Palmers tended to his wife and called an ambulance.

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She had CT and MRI scans that revealed she had broken one of her vertebrae and her shoulder blade.

Mr Jackson said: “This is transferred malice. Mrs Goodenough was not the intended victim, but harm of Mrs Palmer was intended.

“It was driving with an intention to cause some injury.”

Adam Western, defending, said: “It was plainly not part of this defendant’s design to hurt his wife that afternoon.

“Although he plainly intended some harm, any harm he intended was relatively minor.”

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