Man sentenced for murder – Reading

A 42-year-old man was today (31 March) sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a man at Reading station last year.

Virgo Kirkpatrick, of Whitby Road in Slough, was found guilty of murder following a trial at Reading Crown Court on Wednesday (29 March).

A judge today sentenced him to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 21 years and 123 days.

On Saturday 30 July 2022, Virgo struck his victim – 24-year-old Thomas Parker – over the head with a horseshoe, following a minor disagreement about some loud music on a train.

Thomas, who had been on his way home from a football match, died at the scene.

Today, his family paid tribute to him. In a statement, they said: “Whilst we are happy with the verdict as the best possible outcome in this situation, for us this is not a celebration, as the loss we have endured is far greater than any prison sentence.

“Tom had his whole life ahead of him, and he brought so much joy to his family and friends. He had never, and would never hurt a soul, so it is heartbreaking that he was taken from us in such an evil and senseless attack that could have been avoided.

“The past eight months have been hell for us as a family, not made easier by the gruelling two weeks of court, where Tom’s name and character were attacked, untrue and unfair to a person who is no longer here to defend himself.

“It is this reason, and the lack of emotion or remorse shown in Mr Virgo’s apology, said in a desperate attempt to save himself, that we do not, and will never forgive him.”

They added: “Furthermore, we as a family would like to thank all the emergency services involved that night of the 30th July including the British Transport Police for their on-going support.”

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Langley, the Senior Investigating Officer for BTP, said: “Whilst no prison sentence can bring Tom back for his family and loved ones, we’re pleased with the sentence handed down by the court today.

“Virgo is a dangerous individual who needlessly and senselessly took the life of another man just because of a petty argument about some loud music. It is only right that he now faces more than two decades behind bars.

“My thanks go to the investigative team in this case, who worked tirelessly to get justice for Tom, and to the family – who have held themselves at court during the trial with absolute dignity.

“I can only hope that today’s sentence gives them some closure and peace that justice has been done.”