Grieving pair find solace in helping others

Eugene Scardifield and his mum Helen Smith 

Picture: Sarah Standing (161570-3115)

Eugene Scardifield and his mum Helen Smith Picture: Sarah Standing (161570-3115)

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HEARTBROKEN Eugene Scardifield has spoken of his pride at helping others to overcome their grief by sharing his story.

Eugene’s brother, Michael Scardifield, 40 – who grew up in Portsmouth – was brutally strangled by his friend, 29-year-old Martin Birchall ,at Michael’s flat in Stoke-on-Trent in May 2015.

Michael Scardifield

Michael Scardifield

His murderer was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in jail following a trial by jury at Nottingham Crown Court in February.

Eugene was left devastated by the events and hit rock bottom, but decided to channel his efforts into doing a 200-mile charity bike ride to raise money for charity Support After Murder or Manslaughter (Samm), after it helped him with his loss.

After telling his story in The News, Eugene says he has been buoyed by the positive response, which has seen his sponsorship total hit almost £1,000, with more businesses pledging their support.

The 38-year-old gas engineer, from Hayling island, said: ‘It has been incredible. The video has been viewed thousands of times and I have spoken to four families who were previously unaware of Samm. Two have already got in touch with the charity so that in itself is incredible and makes the whole thing worthwhile.’

Samm offers support to those bereaved by the murder or manslaughter of a family member or close friend.

Eugene said it helped him and his mother Helen Smith.

He added: ‘The road I was going down was not a good one. I was drinking every single night so I had to pull myself out of it and I had to make a decision.

‘I decided to try and get something positive out of what’s happened.’

Eugene, who still suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome from the incident, said he was pleased to be helping others.

‘If we can keep it fresh in people’s minds, then hopefully a few more people will find out about Samm.’

For more on the charity, go online at samm.org.uk or call 0845 8723440.

To follow Eugene’s training for his September bike ride go to facebook.com/Cycle-for-Michael-311315285909349/ To donate go to mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/eugenescardifield1

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