Murder victim's father describes 'every parent's worst nightmare' after son killed in station attack

Thomas Parker's father Steven said his other son Craig has "not only lost his brother but also his closest friend". Credit: Family handout

The father of a man murdered with a horseshoe at a train station following a row over loud music has described how "everything went black" as he saw his son lying on the platform.

Thomas Parker, 24, was hit over the head with a horseshoe by Kirkpatrick Virgo, 42, at Reading Station on July 30, 2022.

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

Steven Parker said: "Tom had a lovely personality and always had a smile on his face.

"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'."

Mr Parker said he was unable to comfort his son or hug him because of the crime scene unveiling in front of him when he arrived at the station.

He said: "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.

"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."

He described his son as being like a brother, and added that Craig had "not only lost his brother but also his closest friend".

The father told the court that Tom had recently been promoted to deputy greenkeeper at a golf green.

His family now find it too painful to use Reading station and Mr Parker said he is scared of what could happen every time a family member leaves the house.

Kirkpatrick Virgo, 42, attacked Thomas Parker, 24, with a horseshoe at Reading Station in July 2022. Credit: British Transport Police

The court heard that Virgo, 42, was a father of four and had five previous convictions for crimes such as drink-driving, and on another occasion he was found with crack cocaine and heroin.

He was found guilty by jurors after three hours and 49 minutes of deliberation on Wednesday.

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

The two groups shouted at each other before the altercation was ended by off-duty police officers.

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

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

He was then chased by Craig Parker who tackled his brother's killer, and the pair were separated by security.