Teenager guilty of murdering schoolboy he paid £2,000 to keep silent

A 19-year-old guy has been discovered responsible of murdering a schoolboy after paying greater than £2,000 to take a look at to prevent him revealing their sexual courting.

Matthew Mason admitted bludgeoning 15-year-old Alex Rodda to demise with a wrench in woods in Cheshire on 12 December 2019.

The courtroom heard that they had been fascinated by a temporary sexual courting earlier than Rodda advised Mason’s female friend that the older teen had despatched him specific pictures and a video.

Mason argued at trial that he had skilled a lack of keep watch over all through the killing and were blackmailed via Rodda, who he claimed had attempted to assault him earlier than his demise. He used to be discovered responsible of homicide via a majority of jurors at Chester crown courtroom on Thursday. He’ll be sentenced at a later date.

Alex Rodda.
Alex Rodda. Photograph: Cheshire constabulary/PA

In a remark, Rodda’s circle of relatives described the 15-year-old as a “glorious, mild, loving, type, worrying, respectful boy who cherished existence and lived existence to the whole”. “His treasured existence used to be minimize brief all too quickly by the hands of Matthew Mason,” they mentioned.

The circle of relatives mentioned that they had by no means come throughout a extra “egocentric, chilly and calculating particular person” than Mason, who they mentioned had “tried responsible Alex and discredit his identify all the way through this trial, and fortunately the jury have been in a position to look thru his internet of deceit”.

Mason, an architectural engineering pupil, wept within the dock because the responsible verdict used to be returned. He in the past advised jurors he had requested family and friends for cash to pay Rodda however didn’t inform them what it used to be for. He mentioned he used to be embarrassed and fearful after having intercourse with the more youthful boy, including that he idea it used to be unsuitable “as a result of he used to be a male and, secondly, his age”.

The trial heard Rodda had contacted Mason’s then female friend and advised her he were sending “flirty” messages and an specific image and video. Mason denied the allegations to his female friend however started making bills to Rodda’s checking account at round the similar time, amounting to greater than £2,200 by the point of Rodda’s demise.

The courtroom heard Mason had searched the web for words together with “what would occur should you kicked any individual down the steps” and “on a regular basis poison”. He mentioned he used to be in search of techniques to kill himself as he felt depressed and suicidal following the top of his courting together with his female friend.

The courtroom heard that Mason picked the more youthful boy up from his house in Tabley, Cheshire, and drove him to a far off spot at the evening of the homicide.

Mason, who lived on his circle of relatives’s farm close to Knutsford, Cheshire, mentioned he advised Rodda that he may just now not have enough money to provide him to any extent further cash. He mentioned he had taken a wrench with him as a result of he felt intimidated via the teenager and sought after to scare him.

Mason claimed that Rodda had grabbed the wrench from him and driven him to the ground. Proof confirmed that Rodda were struck no less than 15 instances in what used to be described via the prosecution as a brutal assault.

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