Man found guilty of murder after punching stranger with horseshoe – Berkshire

A 42-year-old man who punched a stranger to death with a horseshoe after an argument on-board an Elizabeth line train has today (29 March) been found guilty of murder.

The verdict follows an extensive British Transport Police (BTP) investigation.

Thomas Parker, 24, described by his family as “loving and funny”, was killed at Reading station on his way home from a football match between Arsenal and Sevilla.  

Kirkpatrick Virgo, of Whitby Road, Slough, was found guilty of murder and possession of an offensive weapon following a two-week trial at Reading Crown Court.

He will be sentenced on Friday 31 March.

On the evening of Saturday 30 July 2022, Thomas boarded an Elizabeth line service at London Paddington station having attended a football fixture at the Emirates Stadium earlier that evening.

CCTV footage showed Virgo and two friends board the same train at Slough carrying a boombox, and accounts taken from witnesses on-board stated they were playing loud music.

As the journey continued, Thomas’ brother requested them to turn the music down. This led to a verbal disagreement between the two groups, during which passengers heard Virgo remark, “do you want to die tonight?”.

The groups were separated, and as the service pulled into Reading, onboard CCTV footage captured the moment Virgo reached into his rucksack and pulled out a heavy metal horseshoe.

A second altercation ensued on the station’s platform, in which Thomas noticed Virgo carrying the horseshoe. CCTV showed he turned his back on Virgo to walk away before being struck once on the back of the head with it.

Thomas laid on the ground while his brother chased Virgo through the station, catching him on the concourse and tackling him to the floor. Rail staff intervened and alerted emergency services.

BTP and the South Central Ambulance Service rushed to the scene and officers quickly apprehended Virgo. They discovered the horseshoe in his rucksack and he was subsequently arrested and conveyed to police custody.

Meanwhile paramedics performed CPR on Thomas. Despite their best efforts, he sadly died from his injuries an hour after being punched.

DCI Paul Langley, senior investigating officer in the case, said: “This was a senseless act of violence that stemmed from a minor argument relating to Virgo and his friends playing loud music on a train.

“Tom Parker was travelling home from an Arsenal FC fixture in London with his brother and friends. He was a young man with his whole life ahead of him. But that life was taken away by an extremely violent individual who fatally struck him following a disagreement at Reading station.

“Thanks to a single shocking act of violence by Kirkpatrick Virgo, Tom’s family now face the rest of their lives without their brother, son and friend.

“We’re pleased that justice has been served today. My thoughts, and the thoughts of my team, remain with Tom’s family. While no verdict will ever be justice enough for them, I hope they can take some small comfort in the fact that this violent individual will spend a lengthy period of his life behind bars.”

Kirkpatrick Virgo:



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