Farmer's Child Killed A Student In The Wake Of Paying Him To Not Uncover Their Sexual Relationship
Matthew Mason, 19, bludgeoned to death fifteen-year-old Alex Rodda with a wrench. The murder trial learned that Mason had deceived the victim with the promise of sex. After discovering that Mason was dating a girl, Alex had 'threatened' to expose the relationship. Mason didn't think that if he was homosexual or bisexual, his peers would support him.
A millionaire farmer's teenage son was reported guilty of killing his 15-year-old lover in a 'ferocious and merciless assault' to save the schoolboy from revealing his girlfriend to their sexual relationship.
With the pledge of sex, Matthew Mason tricked Alex Rodda to remote woodland near the village of Ashley in Cheshire before bashing him with a wrench to death.
Mason had been engaged in an illicit sexual relationship with Alex, but after figuring out that Mason had been dating a girl for two years, the 15-year-old reportedly threatened to reveal their affair, the court heard.
In the week before the murder, Mason made internet searches for phrases including 'what would happen if you kicked someone down the stairs', 'everyday poison', and 'The mysteries of Cheshire unsolved deaths of missing people'.
On December 13, 2019, Alex's semi-naked body was discovered by refuse collectors. His head and body sustained a minimum of 15 blows.
Alex's family said after the 19-year-old was convicted of murder at Chester Crown Court today, "We have never come across a person more selfish, cold and calculating."
Mason confirmed striking Alex with the wrench but denied the killing, claiming that after being triggered, he behaved in self-defence and that he had lost composure.
Mason informed the jury that if he was homosexual or bisexual, he did not think his peers would support him.
In November 2019, the trial learned that Alex had called Mason's then-girlfriend, Caitlyn Lancashire, and told her that he had received 'flirty' texts and an explicit photograph and clip.
Mason refused his girlfriend's claims but continued making deposits at around the same time to Alex's bank account.
Mason had deposited more than £2,200 by the time of Alex's death, and was asking friends and family to borrow money, the court heard.
Mason, who lived on a farm near Knutsford with his family, confirmed having sex with Alex but claimed he felt it was "wrong."
The student of agricultural engineering, who was interested in the Young Farmer's party, said he was honest but, after messages from Alex, started questioning his sexuality.
Mason picked up Alex from outside his house on December 12, 2019, and took him outside Ashley, near Altrincham, to a secluded woodland area, prosecutor Ian Unsworth QC told jurors.
With a large metal wrench, he beat the famous schoolboy to death in what the pathologist described ‘as a brutal, persistent assault.'
Mason drove to the secluded location at about 2 am and tried to move the body of Alex by pulling it from the woodland. He gave up after pushing his body 20 meters and drove around.
When he did not come home, Alex's mom grew extremely worried and she made several attempts to ring his phone, but the calls would not connect.
A few of his mates rang her, who realized he had developed a friendship with Mason, so he spoke to him over two hours.
Alex's mother was made aware of this and contacted Mason before complaining to the police that her son was gone.
Credit: MEN Media
Detective Inspector Nigel Reid said: 'Mason had murder on his mind as he drove Alex to his death under the pretence of sexual activity.
'He chose a secluded place to kill him in cold blood, a place he believed he would go unseen and his crime undetected.'
After being asked how the family found the trial process, Alex's father said: 'It was extremely difficult, especially as we as a family knew that a lot of what was being said would not have come from Alex so it was very difficult, but, at the end of the day, it was a process we had to go through and hopefully - it won't bring Alex back - but now we're in a position where we can start to think positively about moving forward in our lives.'
He said when asked how the family felt after the conviction:' You wouldn't believe how happy we are.
'We would not have accepted anything else, we would have been distracted if we had issued any other decision. We have prayed and are pleased that justice has been accomplished. On January 25, Mason will be convicted.
Judge Everett told him, referring to him at the port, "You were convicted on overwhelming evidence." 'You ran this trial as long as you were trying to sneak away from the murder conviction in the expectation that you could.
‘The time has come and you will be sentenced on January 25.'