‘Maniac’ driver led police on 90mph chase through Yeovil

A Yeovil man has been locked up for 'driving like a maniac' during a high-speed police chase through the town. Matthew Goodchild, 24, travelled at 90mph along 30mph roads and clipped a car as he sped along a rural lane. He eventually stopped after hitting two traffic bollards on Newton Road.

When police moved in to arrest him he clambered into the back seat and claimed he was a passenger. It turned out he was a disqualified driving with a long criminal history of bad driving. Goodchild, of Fosse Park Road, admitted dangerous driving when he appeared at Taunton Crown Court and was jailed for eight months.

READ MORE: SEE Monster inquiry demanded as project branded waste of money The judge said his driving had been dreadful and placed the lives of innocent road users at risk. He said the defendant kept getting into trouble and there was little chance of his rehabilitation.

The offence happened on August 23. Mr Alistair Haggerty, prosecuting, said Goodchild was 'well-known' to police in the area. They were looking for him on unconnected matters and spotted him in a VW Golf at McDonald's in Lysander Road at 12.45pm.

Police illuminated their lights but Goodchild put his foot down and headed towards Plantagenet Chase, overtaking vehicles including a dumper truck which had to break sharply. The pursuit lasted for 4.3miles with the Golf reaching speeds of 90mph and travelling along Lime Tree Avenue near a school and towards Two Towers Lane - driving directly at two cars. The driver of a Jeep described Goodchild as 'driving like a maniac' and forcing him off the road onto a bank and clipping his taillight.

The Golf carried on at speeds of up to 80mph on narrow roads and hit two bollards on a village green on Newton Road. The car came to a stop in Court Lane and Goodchild was arrested. Two other passengers were in the car.

The defendant has 53 previous offences, including three for dangerous driving. Mr Patrick Mason, defending, said Goodchild came from a good background and his mum had held a high-powered job in retail. But he felt rejected by his father as a child and got into bad company.

He had spent much of his adult life going in and out of prison but was ready to settle down with his pregnant girlfriend and start to change his ways. Recorder Mathew Turner said Goodchild had driven aggressively with passengers for a prolonged period and it was 'luck rather than skill' nobody had been seriously injured. He said probation were unable to offer him help. "It is clear you repeatedly drive as you see fit and disregard rules that apply for everyone," he said.

Goodchild, who also pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and without insurance, was banned from driving for 28 months. READ NEXT 'Tough decisions' to be made as council faces GBP17m funding gap

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