Man who hit greenkeeper on the head with a horseshoe found guilty of murder

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A man who killed a golf greenkeeper by hitting him on the head with a horseshoe has been found guilty of murder.

Kirkpatrick Virgo hit Thomas Parker, 24, with the item after the pair argued over loud music from a boombox speaker on a train.

The 42-year-old, from Slough, admitted manslaughter and carrying an offensive weapon, but denied murder.

The jury returned a guilty verdict on Wednesday after deliberating for three hours and 49 minutes.

The row began when Mr Parker’s brother Craig Parker, 27, told one of Virgo’s friends to turn the music down on the train at about 11pm last July 30.

Kirkpatrick Virgo
Kirkpatrick Virgo has been found guilty of the murder of Thomas Parker (British Transport Police/PA)

Virgo then followed the Parker brothers when the train arrived at Reading station.

During his evidence, Craig Parker told how he went to be sick behind a pillar as soon as the train arrived at Reading Station.

He said he felt ill from a McDonald’s milkshake he had consumed on the train.

“Once I vomited I felt Tom looking over me, making sure I was all right,” he said.

“Then it happened, so quickly, Tom was on the floor in front of me.”

The court heard that Virgo had followed the group, removing a heavy metallic horseshoe from his rucksack, which he then used to hit Thomas Parker in the head.

Craig Parker told the court that he pursued Virgo through the station as he did not want to let him get away.

The horseshoe used by Kirkpatrick Virgo in the attack
The horseshoe used by Kirkpatrick Virgo in the attack (British Transport Police/pa)

After Virgo was detained, Mr Parker heard someone tell him that he needed to go back to his brother.

“I heard someone say ‘you best come down now’,” he said.

Mr Parker found his brother surrounded by paramedics.

Despite the efforts of emergency services, Thomas Parker was pronounced dead at 12.40am.

The court was told that Mr Parker died as a result of a subarachnoid haemorrhage after he was hit, meaning fragile blood vessels near his brain had burst and he had gone into cardiac arrest.

Consultant forensic pathologist Robert Chapman, who performed the post-mortem examination, told the court: “One to 2% of cases I deal with have this sort of injury.

“I would expect to see this type of injury about once a year or slightly less than that.”

Virgo will be sentenced on Friday.

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