Teenager ‘bludgeoned 15-year-old gay lover to death after luring him to woods for sex’

Matthew Mason: Teen murdered 15-year-old gay lover 'over blackmail plot'

A teenager bludgeoned his 15-year-old gay lover death after paying more than £2,000 to stop him disclosing their “intimate sexual relationship”, a court has heard.

Matthew Mason, now 19, is standing trial for allegedly beating Alex Rodda at least 15 times with “a heavy and long wrench” in a forest in Cheshire on 12 December, 2019.

Mason is accused of taking Rodda to the forest “on the pretence of sexual activity” before launching a “brutal and merciless” attack on the boy.

“Alex did not stand a chance,” prosecutor Ian Unsworth told the court. “His life ended in those woods. His partially clothed abandoned young body was discovered by a team of refuse collectors early the next morning.

“His trousers and underwear gathered around his ankles, suggesting that he may have been engaged in some form of sexual activity prior to the attack and thus, may well have been highly vulnerable at that time.”

“The case for the prosecution is that Matthew Mason took Alexander Rodda to the woods on the pretence of sexual activity and then murdered him in cold blood.”

Unsworth said the pair had known each other for some months and had “enjoyed an intimate sexual relationship”.

Alex Rodda was openly gay but Mason, an apprentice mechanic, had a girlfriend of two years at the time. A few weeks before the murder Rodda had made contact with the girlfriend and told her about their relationship.

“Because I thought I should let you know that the past 2-3 weeks Matt has been trying to message me,” he wrote to her. “He came to my house in his car to meet me last week but I told him my dad wouldn’t let me out so I didn’t meet him.

“I have told him it has to stop but just thought I’d let you know before he does a d***khead move and I didn’t know he was dating you until I went to go follow him on Instagram.”

He suggested that Mason had been “flirty” with him and had sent him photos of his penis and a video of himself masturbating, the court heard.

Mason denied the allegations to his girlfriend but paid £50 into the schoolboy’s account the next day, the first of a series of payments totalling £2,020 by 23 November. Messages recovered from Mason’s phone show the defendant complaining that the payments were “cleaning him out”.

The trial is expected to last until early January.