Murderer who beat greenkeeper to death with horseshoe gets 21 years in prison

Murderer who beat greenkeeper to death with horseshoe after argument over loud music on train gets 21 years in prison

A man who killed a golf greenkeeper by hitting him on the head with a horseshoe while on a train has been sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Kirkpatrick Virgo, 42, was jailed at Reading Crown Court for the murder of Thomas Parker, 24, after the pair argued over loud music coming from a boombox speaker as they all traveled by train to Reading railway station.

The 42-year-old from Slough previously admitted manslaughter and carried an assault weapon, but denied murder.

The jury found guilty after three hours and 49 minutes of deliberation.

The victim’s father, Steven Parker, described how ‘everything went black’ when he saw his son lying on the platform of Reading station.

Kirkpatrick Virgo, 42, has been sentenced to 21 years in prison for murdering a greenkeeper with a horseshoe after an argument over loud music on a train

“Tom had a lovely personality and always had a smile on his face,” he said.

‘He was very smart and had a lot of friends, Tom didn’t have a bad leg in his body. I would describe him as a lover, not a fighter.

“I got a call from our son Craig. Every parent’s worst nightmare was about to unfold before us.”

Mr Parker said he was unable to comfort or hug his son due to the crime scene revelation in front of him when he arrived at the station.

He said: “We approached in fear, hoping we could take Tom home, or at least get him to the hospital where he could receive medical treatment. We couldn’t be more wrong.

“We wanted to hug Tom, take him home, shake him gently and tell him to wake up. To tell him everything will be fine.’

Golf club greenkeeper Thomas Parker, 24, (pictured) was killed with a metal horseshoe after his brother objected to music being played too loudly on a train, a court heard

Golf club greenkeeper Thomas Parker, 24, (pictured) was killed with a metal horseshoe after his brother objected to music being played too loudly on a train, a court heard

He described his son as a brother, adding that Craig had “lost not only his brother, but also his best friend.”

The father told the court that Tom had recently been promoted to deputy greenkeeper on a golf green.

His family now finds it too painful to use Reading Station and Mr Parker said he fears what could happen every time a family member leaves home.

The court heard that Virgo, 42, was a father of four and had five prior convictions for crimes such as drunk driving, and on another occasion was found with crack cocaine and heroin.

He was found guilty by jurors on Wednesday after three hours and 49 minutes of deliberation.

The altercation on the train started when 27-year-old Craig Parker told one of Virgo’s friends on July 30 last year to turn the music down.

The two groups yelled at each other before the altercation was ended by off-duty police officers.

Virgo followed the brothers as the train arrived in Reading.

The court heard that he followed the group and took a heavy metal horseshoe from his backpack, which he used to hit Thomas Parker on the head.

He was then chased by Craig Parker who tackled his brother’s killer, and the pair were separated by security.

Despite the best efforts of emergency services, Thomas Parker was pronounced dead at 12:40 a.m.