‘Murder weapon’ was bought to ‘hang on front door as a lucky charm’

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A man who killed a golf greenkeeper by hitting him on the head with a horseshoe said he bought it as a “lucky charm”, a court has been told.

Kirkpatrick Virgo, 42, hit Thomas Parker, 24, with the talisman after the pair argued over music being played on a portable speaker on a train.

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

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

He told Reading Crown Court on Monday: “I bought it in the antique shop as a lucky charm.

“I bought it to put it on the door and I just did not get around to putting it up.”

He added: “I thought I was going to be attacked, that is why I removed it (from the bag).”

After the train arrived at Reading station, Virgo followed the Parker brothers before hitting Thomas on the back of the head with the horseshoe, the prosecution said.

Virgo claimed he was actually trying to avoid the siblings but Thomas became racially abusive.

Virgo replied: “No. I did not follow them.

“It happened so quickly. He spat at me and called me a black c*** and then I hit him.”

Mr Khan put it to Virgo that he hit Mr Parker when his back was turned.

Virgo said: “It happened so quickly that I did not realise that he had turned his head.”

“My intention was not to kill Thomas Parker.

“I am sorry to the Parker family.

“No mother should ever have to bury her son and for that I am sorry.

“I regret it every day of my life.”

Virgo, from Slough, admits manslaughter and carrying an offensive weapon but denies murder.

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