Man guilty of murder after attacking stranger with horseshoe on Elizabeth line platform

·3-min read

This is the moment a killer pulls a horseshoe out of his bag before fatally attacking an Arsenal fan making his way home from an Emirates Cup game.

Kirkpatrick Virgo, 42, was found guilty of murder after punching the stranger to death with a horseshoe after a deadly argument over a boombox broke out on-board an Elizabeth line train.

His victim, golf club groundsman Thomas Parker, 24, had turned his back and was walking away from Virgo when he was struck once on the back of the head with the horseshoe.

Parker, described by his family as “loving and funny”, collapsed to the floor at Reading station where he was returning home with his brother Craig and two friends from a football match between Arsenal and Sevilla on July 30.

Golf greenkeeper Thomas Parker (Family handout/PA)
Golf greenkeeper Thomas Parker (Family handout/PA)

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?”.

Virgo pulls a horseshoe out of his rucksack (BTP)
Virgo pulls a horseshoe out of his rucksack (BTP)

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 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.

Kirkpatrick Virgo, 42, punched the stranger to death with a horseshoe (BTP)
Kirkpatrick Virgo, 42, punched the stranger to death with a horseshoe (BTP)

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 later.


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

Virgo will be sentenced on Friday.