Teenager, 19, is found guilty of murdering schoolboy, 15, with a wrench in woodland after paying him more than £2,000 to stop him revealing their secret gay affair
- Matthew Mason, 19, bludgeoned 15-year-old Alex Rodda to death with a wrench
- Murder trial heard Mason had lured victim to woodland with the promise of sex
- Alex ‘threatened’ to reveal relationship after finding Mason was dating a girl
A teenager has today been found guilty of murdering a 15-year-old schoolboy he was in a sexual relationship with.
Matthew Mason, then 18, lured Alex Rodda to remote woodland near the village of Ashley in Cheshire with the promise of sex before beating him to death with a large metal wrench.
Mason, who was studying Agricultural Engineering, had been involved in an intimate sexual relationship with Alex, Chester Crown Court heard.
But Alex had allegedly ‘threatened’ to reveal their relationship after finding out Mason had been dating a girl for two years.
The 15-year-old’s semi-naked body was found by refuse collectors on December 13 last year. His head and body had suffered at least 15 blows.
Mason admitted hitting Alex with the wrench but denied murder, arguing he acted in self-defence and that he had lost control after being provoked.
Today, Mason, now 19, from Ollerton in Knutsford, Cheshire, was found guilty of murder.
Matthew Mason, 19, (left) admitted bludgeoning 15-year-old Alex Rodda (right) to death with a wrench in woods in Ashley, Cheshire, on December 12 2019
The 19-year-old had used a heavy and long wrench to repeatedly beat Alex to the head and body with an estimated 15 separate blows
Mason went into the woods and dragged Alex’s body to the track at the side of the road in an attempt to put him inside his car. After failing to do this he then drove away. Mason had dried blood on his hands and fingers and inside the boot of his car was a bin bag with his blood stained green fleece, the wrench and Alex’s large padded jacket
Mason drove 15-year-old Alex Rodda to a remote wooded area in Ashley, Cheshire and subjected him to a ferocious and merciless attack
Matthew Mason (pictured left), 19, bludgeoned Alex Rodda (right), 15, to death with a wrench in Ashley, Cheshire, on December 12 last year. Mason admitted hitting Rodda with the wrench but denied murder
After receiving a message from Cheshire Police to get in touch about the missing youngster, Mason returned to the woodland after midnight where he was said to have attempted to move the body but had abandoned the task, jurors heard.
Hours after the body was discovered, Mason was stopped by police on the A41 in Staffordshire and was arrested.
He appeared to have scratches and grazing to his lower back near to his waistband and also had scratches and cuts to the left side of his face. He appeared to also have dried blood on his hands and fingers, the court was told.
In the boot police found a blood-stained wrench and other items.
The order of service from the 15-year-old’s funeral on Wednesday 29 January, 2020
Alex’s mother Lisa Rodda, pictured arriving at Chester Crown Court in December