Hayling Island family to appear on Jeremy Kyle show over murder tragedy

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A FAMILY still reeling from the murder of their loved one will appear on The Jeremy Kyle Show to raise awareness about the support available for those affected by murder or manslaughter.

Eugene Scardifield and his mum Helen Smith, from Hayling Island, will feature on The Jeremy Kyle Show on Friday morning as part of its Truth Behind the Headlines series.

Eugene Scardifield with his mum Helen Smith, who lost their brother and son, Michael. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Eugene Scardifield with his mum Helen Smith, who lost their brother and son, Michael. Picture: Malcolm Wells

The pair are brother and mother to Michael Scardifield – who was strangled to death aged 40 by his friend Martin Birchall.

Eugene, 40 and Helen, 60, talk about nationwide charity Samm – Support After Murder and Manslaughter – which they are hoping to raise awareness of after receiving fantastic support.

Dad-of-four Eugene said: ‘I rang the show because we wanted to share our story and raise awareness about the charity.

‘There’s this massive stigma around murder and manslaughter, it can be the elephant in the room and a taboo subject which people often shy away from, and Jeremy Kyle doesn’t avoid taboo subjects.

Michael Scardifeld

Michael Scardifeld

‘So many innocent people like my brother are murdered and families are left reeling.

‘We want families to know there is help out there. Samm is run by volunteers affected by murder or manslaughter so everyone you speak to can relate to you.

‘They phone every week and you can off-load, rant, scream or cry to them. I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after my brother’s death and the charity has massively helped me and my family.’

Eugene said on finding out the news of his brother’s death he felt immobilised and sick.

Michael, a father of-three, was born and raised in Portsmouth but was strangled by 31-year-old Martin Birchall at his Stoke-on-Trent flat, in May 2015. 

Birchall was jailed for a minimum of 18 years in February 2016 for murdering Michael with the strap of a man bag.

On the show, being aired at 9.25am on Friday, Eugene and Helen tell Jeremy Kyle and an audience their story.

Grandmother Helen, who has another two sons and three daughters, said the impact of Michael’s death had only worsened over the years.

She said: ‘After Michael’s trial we lost all victim support from the police, including our family liaison officer.

‘You’re left alone to deal with such a tragedy.

‘I had a breakdown in September 2016 and received mental health service help, because the impact from this one act has rippled and rippled out.

‘Samm have been amazing, you feel so isolated when something like this happens but when you’re talking to someone from the charity you can just be yourself, you don’t have to watch what you say.

‘Birchall got life in jail, but we got life too because we will live with this until we die.’

Bereaved families who need support can call a national SAMM (Support After Murder and Manslaughter) helpline on 0845 872 3440.