Paul Retallick murder trial: My son had devil inside him – father
A desperate father pleaded with his “possessed” son to end a barrage of blows which killed Paul Retallick, a court heard.
Michael Frank McGinty, 55, claimed he attempted to smother Mr Retallick’s badly-beaten head from the “fast and wild” attacks by son, Lee, who had the “devil” inside him.
The father quietly wept in the witness box as he relived the disturbing events that unfolded in the family home of daughter Heidi McGinty on Sunday, September 16, last year.
Michael McGinty gave evidence last week, a day after his son took to the stand.
Both are accused of the murder of Paul Retallick in Iris Way, Langport and both deny the charge.
Michael McGinty told Bristol Crown Court how he “pelted” upstairs after hearing Lee’s distressed shouts.
“I went into Heidi’s bedroom and saw Lee and Paul had each other in a headlock,” he recalled.
“I shouted to Heidi to telephone the police and I grabbed Paul by the waist to pull them apart.
“We landed on the bed with Paul on my lap and I was trying to restrain him.
“I got my arms under his and had my hands on the back of his head.
“We then fell onto the floor, Paul belly-down, and I was on top of him holding his arms behind his back.
“I just wanted to restrain him until the police got here.
“As soon as Lee left the room I felt I was losing my grip of Paul, which made me panicky.
“Physically I was not any kind of match for Paul. I was worried he had a weapon so shouted for Lee.
“When Lee came back into the room the devil was inside him. He was possessed and was kicking and stamping on Paul. I thought he had lost the plot.
“It looked like Lee was kicking Paul in the head. I started shouting ‘stop Lee, f****** stop, that’s enough’, but he carried on.
“I had my head and arms over Paul’s head. I was trying to protect him from Lee.”
Michael McGinty said he and Lee Michael McGinty, 25, travelled from their home at Peony Road, Langport, to the nearby house of Miss McGinty, off Iris Way, to drop off a set of tables and chairs bought from a car boot sale earlier that day.
The court heard Miss McGinty tried to stop her dad from coming around, sending a text saying “I’ve gone to bed, come around in the morning”.
In cross examination, Peter Coombe, prosecuting, questioned why Michael and Lee McGinty were so eager to visit Miss McGinty that night.
He said: “You say that Heidi is very moody and can get upset easily, so do you not think the best thing would have been to let her have an early night?
“Is the reality that there was a possibility Paul was in the house and you wanted to go and get him?
“You went around with your son to beat him up. Your son punched and kicked him in the face while you held him.”
Mr Coombe said that in an initial statement to the police, Michael McGinty said Mr Retallick was still in the wardrobe when he first entered the bedroom.
McGinty later told the court he had mistaken this series of events for one seen “in a dream”.
Mr Coombe said the false story was an attempt by Michael to “cover up” his own role in the attack.
“You were trying to cover up what you had done wrong, which was holding Paul while your son beat him up.
“You told a lie because, until the stage when Paul was lying on the floor, you were in the wrong.
“This was not a case of Lee defending himself – he was repeatedly punching and kicking Paul in the face while you held him.
“After hearing that Paul had died you said ‘I’m going to do time for murder. I can’t do time’. The reason you said that was because you knew you had helped.”
Michael responded: “I do not feel any guilt. All I feel is sadness that Paul is no longer here.”
Jurors were expected to retire to consider their verdict yesterday afternoon.