Kirkpatrick Virgo has been sentenced to 21 years in jail for the murder of a golf greenkeeper, Thomas Parker, 24. Virgo bludgeoned Parker with a horseshoe after an argument over loud music played from a boombox speaker on an Elizabeth Line train.
The attack occurred on the evening of July 30th last year after they disembarked the train in Reading, Berkshire. Virgo followed Parker out of the train and delivered the final blow with the horseshoe. Virgo admitted to manslaughter and carrying an offensive weapon but denied murder.
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Who is Kirkpatrick Virgo?
Kirkpatrick Virgo is a 42-year-old man who was pronounced guilty verdict by a jury after three hours and 49 minutes of deliberation. During the trial, Thomas’ father, Steven Parker, described how “everything went black” when he saw his son lying on the station platform.
“Tom had a lovely personality and always had a smile on his face,” he told the court. “He was very clever and had lots of friends, Tom did not have a bad bone in his body. I would describe him as a lover not a fighter.”
Steven received a phone call from his son Craig, telling him, “You need to get to Reading station, Tom has been attacked.” Arriving at the scene, a crime scene was set up, and Steven couldn’t even hug his son. “We approached in fear, hoping in our hearts we would be able to take Tom home with us, or at least take him to a hospital where he could receive medical treatment. We could not be more wrong,” he said. “We wanted to hug Tom, to take him home, to gently shake him and tell him to wake up. To tell him everything will be OK.”
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The Parker family can no longer step foot in Reading as it brings up too many painful memories. Steven fears what will happen to his loved ones any time they leave the house. During the trial, the court heard how Craig told one of Virgo’s friends to turn down the music he was playing at around 11 pm. A row erupted between them, and off-duty police officers broke them up.
However, after they departed the train at Reading, Virgo took out a heavy metallic horseshoe from his rucksack and hit Thomas over the head. Despite the best efforts by paramedics, Thomas was pronounced dead at 12:40 pm. The court was told that he died of a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of stroke caused by blood bursting from a ruptured, fragile blood vessel in his head.
Craig chased down his brother’s killer and tackled him to the ground. “I was in a bear hug, grappling, just holding (him),” Craig told the court. “I did not want to let him go.” The judge, Judge Heather Norton, sentenced Virgo to 21 years and 123 days in jail at Reading Crown Court. She described the attack as “brutal, senseless, and entirely unprovoked”.
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“You, Mr. Virgo, are a dangerous man. You have shown a complete lack of remorse, and your conduct during the trial has been wholly unacceptable,” she said. The sentencing marks the end of a tragic case that has left a family grieving for a loved one. As Steven Parker said, “We will always love Tom and will always miss him. We just want justice to be done.”