A man who murdered a golf greenkeeper by bludgeoning him with a horseshoe has been jailed for 21 years.
Kirkpatrick Virgo, 42, smashed Thomas Parker, 24, with the U-shaped iron after they argued over loud music being played from a boombox speaker.
He did after they got off an Elizabeth Line train after it boarded at Reading, Berkshire, on the evening of July 30 last year.
Virgo followed Thomas out of the train to deliver the final blow with the horseshoe.
Virgo, from Slough, was sentenced today to 21 years and 123 days in jail at Reading Crown Court today.
He admitted manslaughter and carrying an offensive weapon but denied murder
A jury returned a guilty verdict after deliberating for three hours and 49 minutes on Thursday.
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.
‘I received a phone call from our son Craig. Every parent’s worst nightmare was about to unfold in front of us.
‘Craig told us, “You need to get to Reading station, Tom has been attacked”.’
With a crime scene set up when he arrived, 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 hospital where he could receive medical treatment. We could not be more wrong,’ Steven 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.’
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.
The court heard how Craig told one of Virgo’s friends to turn down the music he was playing at around 11pm.
A row erupted between them before off-duty police officers broke them up.
But then 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 12:40pm.
He died of a subarachnoid haemorrhage, the court was told, a type of stroke caused by blood bursting from a ruptured, fragile blood vessel.
Craig chased down his brother’s killer and tackled him to the ground.
‘I was in a bear hug, grappling, just holding (him),’ Craid told the court.
‘I did not want to let him go.’
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