Geoffrey Marshall admits ‘reign of terror’ in Army truck

Geoffrey Marshall, 41, used the two-and-half tonne truck to drive at his partner’s home, wrecking her car in the process.

He then went on a “reign of terror”, driving the green flatbed truck through a roadblock, destroying four Avon and Somerset Police vehicles and damaging other cars.

Marshall was arrested after police negotiators persuaded him not to jump from a bridge over the M5, North Somerset Magistrates’ Court heard.

The incident began on Sunday afternoon (September 10) with an argument between Marshall and his partner, Kathryn Marshall Lam, at their home in Station Road, Norton Fitzwarren, over text messages she found on his phone.

Paul Kelly, prosecuting, said fearing for her safety, Ms Marshall Lam left the property and called the police.

When officers arrived they found the defendant behind the wheel of the 1958 M35 truck.

“They tried to reason with the defendant through the window and asked him to get out of that large vehicle safely to talk to him about the allegation against him,” Mr Kelly said.

“These negotiations have failed and, instead of engaging with the police, this defendant has decided to start driving the vehicle.

“He has driven the vehicle into the property owned by Kathryn Marshall Lam, causing damage to the vehicle parked in front as well as quite a lot of structural damage to that property.

“He has then made off from that location and driven at police cars, causing extensive damage to four police vehicles who were trying to block him.

“He has then left the site and driven to the M5 motorway and got out of the vehicle and got on to a bridge that crosses the M5, crossed the barrier and has threatened suicide.

“Negotiations took place with the police, who have managed to get him down and arrested him for the matters before the court.

“There was damage to a large amount of parked vehicles, which are reflected in the charges before the court.

“During the argument with Ms Marshall Lam, he took her phone and smashed it, causing a small amount of glass to go into her hand.

“He has then thrown away her phone into a river.”

Mr Kelly described Marshall’s dangerous driving as “deliberate and prolonged” and said the sentencing guidelines carry a starting point of 18 months’ custody.

He said: “The Crown suggest that what started as a reasonably low-level domestic dispute has escalated massively into what the Crown suggest is a reign of terror in relation to driving the large military vehicle, not only into the property of the complainant but also a large stretch of motorway involving four police vehicles and a number of civilian vehicles that were heavily damaged.

“Therefore, we would suggest that the defendant at this current stage is unable to act rationally.”

Marshall admitted 12 charges of criminal damage, including destroying four police vehicles and his partner’s Range Rover, as well as damaging her home, her iPhone, a council lamppost and four other cars.

He also admitted charges of dangerous driving and assault by beating.

Nigel Yeo, defending, did not apply for bail.

Magistrates remanded Marshall into custody, ordering pre-sentence reports and imposing an interim driving ban.

Presiding justice Trevor Morgan remanded Marshall into custody to appear at Taunton[1] Crown Court on October 13 for sentencing.


  1. ^ Taunton (