THE family of a man who was strangled to death aged 40 have appeared on the Jeremy Kyle Show to talk about the support they have received.
Michael Scardifield, 40, who was born and raised in Portsmouth, was killed by his friend Martin Birchall at his Stoke-on-Trent flat in 2015.
This morning Michael’s brother Eugene and mum Helen Smith featured on the ITV show, as part of its Behind the Headlines series, to raise awareness of the help available for those affected by murder or manslaughter.
Speaking on the show Eugene, 40, said that he had drunk eight litres of rum in a single week following his brother’s death.
He said: ‘Michael had a heart of gold. He did not have a confrontational bone in his body.
‘He always wanted to see the best in people, help anyone he could. Even when he went through his own battles he’d still be there to help anyone he could.
‘Shortly after Michael was taken you go through all the emotions, denial, sadness, confusion, anger.’
Asked about the moment he found out about Michael’s death, he added: ‘It felt like I was punched in the stomach, the chest and the face all at once.’
Birchall was jailed for a minimum of 18 years in February 2016 for murdering Michael with the strap of a man bag.
Eugene, from Hayling Island, said: ‘His sentence isn’t a sentence. There’s no cell that he could be in that’s any darker than my mind.
‘We’re serving a life sentence up there.’
‘When people talk about Michael they think it’s going to give us a reminder of what happened. You’ve got that reminder every single day.’
Eugene and Helen spoke about the nationwide charity Samm – Support After Murder and Manslaughter – which they are hoping to raise awareness for after receiving fantastic support.
Bereaved families who need support can call a national Samm helpline on 0845 872 3440.
To watch Eugene and Helen on the show go to the ITV website.