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The pensioner tried to hit the neighbor with his car – but ran over his own wife

A longstanding argument between neighbors ended in violence when a retiree from Coventry purposely turned his car on the woman next door – only to run over his own wife instead.

And after Michael Goodenough’s “expression of faint-hearted irritation” left his wife with a bruised fracture in her spine, he stormed in, leaving his neighbors to look after her.

Goodenough, 73, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for aggravated assault. A judge said, “I don’t see any signs of real repentance, and on the day itself you stormed into the house and let your wife look after the neighbors you hate so much. “

Prosecutor David Jackson said Goodenough’s intended victim was Michelle Palmer, who had lived next to him and his wife Lynda on Despard Road in Eastern Green for 30 years.

Warwick Crown Court heard relations were fine at first, but things went bad about 27 years ago over a wall the Palmers built to replace a fence next to an entrance between the two properties.

Matters came to a head in July 2019 when the Palmers helped their son Joshua move some furniture into their home on a flatbed truck that was driven down the entrance and parked next to their back gate.

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A surveillance camera caught Goodenough, who responded by getting into his white Mercedes, reversing, pulling down the driveway and parking, and blocking the truck.

He got out of the car and there was an exchange between himself and Joshua Palmer and his father before Goodenough got back in his car and drove forward to the truck.

Goodenough then returned a short distance and stayed in the car.

Mrs. Palmer was standing in the mouth of the entrance and was seen using her phone before walking over to the side of the Mercedes and taking a picture of Goodenough sitting in it.

Then as she walked away, Goodenough began to turn to her and you could see Mrs. Palmer pressing her hands against the rear window of the car as it forced her back.

Goodenough drove forward again as Mrs. Palmer walked back to the road, and his wife approached the driver’s side and spoke to him.

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But when his wife went back to Mrs. Palmer, Goodenough suddenly turned around as she sat behind the car, knocking her to the ground and walking over her.

Then he pulled up and got out of the car, and when Mrs. Palmer tried to help his wife, Goodenough got into an argument with Joshua, whose father had taken the keys from the Mercedes and tossed them to him.

After receiving the keys, Goodenough went to his house and had Mrs. Palmer care for his injured wife, who was rushed to the hospital by ambulance.

She underwent CT and MRI scans and had fractures in one of her vertebrae and her shoulder blade. She was in the hospital ten days before being discharged with a lumbar spine but may have persistent problems.

When interviewed, Goodenough claimed he was attacked by Joshua Palmer and his father and turned around to get away from them without knowing that his wife was behind the car.

Of the three times he had backed up toward Mrs. Palmer, he said the first time he hadn’t seen her, the second time he knew she was there and she “ran back” in the car , and the third time when he assumed that she would move out of his way and did not see his wife.

Mr. Jackson said, “This is transferred malice. Mrs. Goodenough was not the intended victim, but Mrs. Palmer’s harm was intended. It was driven with the intent to cause injury. “

In a statement, Ms. Palmer said: “For many years, not only my family but also other families in the area have suffered from Mr. Goodenough’s antisocial behavior.”

Adam Western, who defended himself, said: “It was clearly not part of this defendant’s draft to injure his wife that afternoon.

“Although he clearly intended harm, any harm he intended was relatively minor. Your honor can conclude that the distance behind the car and the speed at which the car was being driven removed Mrs. Palmer.”

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Mr Western argued for a suspended sentence, saying that Goodenough, who was ashamed of telling their three daughters what he had done, “thought about how he would react to his neighbors”.

Judge Peter Cooke told Goodenough: “It has been 22 months since that sad episode in which your wife was seriously and permanently injured.

“You tried to turn your car into the lady next door and injure her, and you ended up running over your own wife and crushing her spine.

“Not only did you take the risk that you would injure Ms. Palmer by reckless driving, you intended to do so. That’s why you have to go to jail.

“What I saw in this video is a portrayal of the petty, faint-hearted irritability of everyone involved.

“Ms. Palmer knew full well that if she showed up next to your car and filmed you on her phone, it would only serve to tease you.

“This is an episode that affects everyone involved very badly, but you were the one who initiated it by packing up your neighbors for using an alley that you considered to be your own territory.

“I don’t see any signs of real remorse, and on the day itself you stormed into the house and had your wife looked after by the neighbors who hate you so much.”


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