Father killed in 'supermarket rage' was mistaken for queue jumper
A FATHER who died after being attacked at a supermarket in a row over queue-jumping was an innocent bystander, it was revealed yesterday.
Kevin Tripp, 57, was shopping in Sainsbury's in Merton, south-west London, when an argument broke out.
Witnesses said a woman customer accused another shopper of pushing in front of her. She then allegedly called her boyfriend, who attacked "the first person he saw".
Mr Tripp, who lived with his partner Josephine, a secretary, and his five-year-old daughter in Merton, was punched and fell heavily on Tuesday evening. Shoppers and store staff saw the engineer hit his head and begin bleeding.
He was taken to St George's Hospital in Tooting, but died late on Wednesday night.
A couple who shop regularly at the store said staff told them the man picked Mr Tripp apparently at random.
The woman said: "A woman phoned her boyfriend. He didn't bother to find out who had been causing trouble, he just hit the first person he saw."
Another shopper said: "It's like road rage, isn't it, but in a supermarket? Someone with a short temper, and that's how it gets them."
Mr Tripp's distraught partner and daughter were yesterday collected from their terraced home by relatives. They were too upset to talk but neighbours paid tribute to the dead man.
Neighbour Breda McDonagh, 70, a retired nurse and mother of Mitcham and Morden Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh, said: "He was a very nice chap, a sociable man, co-operative, who would do anything he could for you.
"I saw them almost every day when I'd be out sweeping the front and she'd pass by with her little girl."
She added: "A neighbour across the road came over last night to tell me what had happened. I couldn't believe it. I knew he used to shop there at nights. I was told a scuffle had broken out. Kevin had got hit in the queue and he'd been admitted to St George's. I thought he'd be all right.
"I cannot understand it happening in an area like this. There was no reason in the world why this should happen to Kevin. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Siobhain McDonagh said she knew Mr Tripp, both as a constituent and a family friend.
She said: "Kevin was a quiet, self-effacing man. The last thing in the world he would do would be to become involved in anything violent. He just wasn't that sort of guy.
"He just got on with life. He lived in our street for more than 20 years. In the past, my parents used to help him do a bit of shopping because he had ME."
She said she had learned of his death from a police call last night.
Ms McDonagh added: "It's completely unbelievable that a store thousands of people use a week should be the scene of such unprovoked violence.
"On a wider level, this is about acceptable behaviour, whether it is street violence or road rage."
Two accused of murder
A WOMAN last night became the second person to be charged with Mr Tripp's murder.
Antoinette Richardson, 37, was charged after Tony Virasami, also 37, appeared in court yesterday, accused of the murder.
Virasami, from Catford, south-east London, was remanded in custody at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court.
He spoke only to confirm his name and address.
He will appear at the Old Bailey on 18 September.
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