The son of a man accused of murder said he was nearly driven to suicide after being confused with his estranged father – whose name he shares.
Michael McGinty, 33, of Somerton, said his life has been turned upside down since his father, also called Michael McGinty, 55, of Langport, was charged with the murder of Paul Retallick.
Mr Retallick, 35, was living at Barwick, near Yeovil, until a few months before he was found dead on the Old Kelways Estate in Langport on the evening of September 16. A post-mortem revealed he died from head injuries. Mr McGinty’s half brother, Lee McGinty, has also been charged with murder. The father and son have been remanded in custody.
Mr McGinty described the past month as “traumatic” and said he has been forced to stand down from his role as a radio DJ on Yeovil District Hospital’s Radio Camelot due to poor health.
The father-of-two, who is diabetic, said he has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and even considered suicide.
He said: “I want to make people aware that it’s not me that’s been accused of murder, it’s my father.
“I’ve had so many people approach my family. Sometimes I’ve had people crossing the road. I’ve had people almost looking down on me as a person when I’ve done more in society than most people. I’ve done work for charity and I feel I am being judged unfairly.
“I’m a good person. I’m a family man just trying to get on with my life. I have had a lot of problems since this has happened. I was devastated by what happened. I became very poorly. All I’m trying to do is get on with my life but I feel like people are victimising me because of my father.”
Mr McGinty said he has not spoken to his father in months and has not had much to do with him in years.
Things had been so bad for Mr McGinty that he was hospitalised after not eating or sleeping for five weeks. He has lost two-and-a-half stone in weight and has developed a phobia of social situations.
He added: “I don’t have a lot to do with my father but since this event has happened I’ve had an endless amount of people approaching me and asking questions about it. I know as much as they do. It’s been very tough.
“It got to the point I nearly took my own life but I thought of my family and I’m staying strong now.
“I’m getting back on top but I’m still having people approach me asking me questions. It’s had a traumatic impact on my little family. My wife and kids were affected by it. We are getting back on track, but it’s going to take a while.
“I’ve seen a change in a lot of people but, at the end of the day, if I don’t know them why should I be bothered they are judging me? I have only ever tried to do good for people. It’s just unfortunate this has happened and caused a lot of confusion along the way.
“I want to be treated as a person who has no connection whatsoever with this and be left to get on with my life.”