Pensioner, 73, is jailed after he mowed down his WIFE and broke her spine

A pensioner who tried to run over his next door neighbour but missed and mowed down his own wife has been jailed.  

Michael Goodenough, 73, reversed his white Mercedes at next door neighbour Michelle Palmer but accidentally knocked down wife Lynda, 72, breaking her spine.

She was rushed to hospital following the incident in July 2019 in Coventry.

Judge Peter Cooke called the attack ‘small-minded petulance’ as he jailed Goodenough for 15 months at Warwick Crown Court.

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

On the day of the crash, the father-of-three deliberately blocked an alleyway between his homes with his car but flipped when Mrs Palmer started filming him with her phone. 

As he attempted to reverse his car towards her, his wife walked behind the vehicle and he ran over her. 

Michael Goodenough, 73, broke his wife’s spine as he tried to mow down his next door neighbour in Coventry

The dispute began after Goodenough's neighbour built a wall between the properties in Coventry

The dispute began after Goodenough’s neighbour built a wall between the properties in Coventry

Judge Peter Cooke said: ‘It is now 22 months since this sorry episode in which your wife suffered significant and lasting injury.

‘In the course of submissions it was conceded that some harm was intended.

‘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. 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.

‘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.’

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

He said: ‘At first relations were fine, but things turned sour 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.’

The court heard Goodenough blocked in the truck with his car before the Palmers started arguing with him.

Goodenough then reversed slowly at Mrs Palmer who was ‘seen pressing her hands against the rear window’ as it forced her backwards.

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

Goodenough was jailed for 15 months at Warwick Crown Court, with the judge describing the attack as 'small-minded petulance'

Goodenough was jailed for 15 months at Warwick Crown Court, with the judge describing the attack as ‘small-minded petulance’

Mr 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.

‘He then pulled forward and got out of the car, and as Mrs Palmer tried to help his wife, Goodenough became involved in a tussle with Joshua, whose father had grabbed the keys from the Mercedes and thrown them to him.’

While Goodenough stormed back to his home, the Palmers tended to his wife and called an ambulance.

She had CT and MRI scans which 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.’

In a statement Mrs Palmer said: ‘For many years not just my family but other families in the area have had to suffer the anti-social behaviour of Mr Goodenough.’

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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