Farmer’s son, 19, battered lover, 15, to death with spanner ‘after he threatened to expose sexual relationship’

A TEENAGE killer said he bludgeoned a schoolboy who threatened to ‘ruin’ his life by revealing their sexual relationship because he was ‘embarrassed’.

Matthew Mason, 19, denies murdering Alex Rodda, 15, but admits beating him to death with a spanner in remote woodland in Cheshire on December 12 last year.


The schoolboy was found partially clothed by refuse collectors the following morning, and Mason was arrested four hours after the grim discovery.

Giving evidence at Chester Crown Court on Thursday, Mason, who lived with his parents on a farm near Knutsford, said he and Alex began messaging each other in October 2019.

The messages between Mason and the openly-gay Year 11 schoolboy soon became sexual in nature.

Things began to go wrong when Mason sent an explicit photo and video to Alex when he was drunk after an evening in the pub with Young Farmers on October 31.

Three days later, Alex messaged Mason's girlfriend Caitlyn Lancashire to tell her about the photo.

He then asked Mason for £50 to stop him putting the screenshot on social media, the jury was told.

The text said: "I thought I should let you know that the past 2-3 weeks matt has been trying to message me 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***head move and I didn’t know he was dating you until I went to go follow him on lnstagram.”

Mason said he gave Alex the money and continued to transfer money to him when he asked for it, eventually giving him a total of more than £2,000.

I was embarrassed about what had happened and didn't know how people would react

He said: "I was embarrassed about what had happened and I didn't know how people would react to the situation."

The court heard Mason, who admitted he engaged in sexual activity with Alex on three occasions in November and December, took money from his savings and borrowed from his grandmother to pay him.

He said on December 12 he agreed to give Alex a lift to Holmes Chapel but took him to the woods in Ashley after Alex asked if they could go somewhere to "do stuff".

Mason, an agricultural engineering student at Reaseheath College, said he was "intimidated" by Alex so took a spanner with him when they left the car .

He said: "I told him I couldn't afford to give him any more money and that I wouldn't give him any more money in the future."

He said he told Alex the situation was making him suicidal but Alex responded by calling him "f****** stupid" and an "idiot".

Mason told the court: "He said to me something he'd said once before, 'I said I'll ruin your life financially or socially and I meant it' and then he pushed me on the floor."

He claimed the spanner fell onto the floor and Alex grabbed it and hit him on the head with it before starting to punch him.


Mason said he eventually managed to get the spanner from Alex and remembered hitting him with it twice.

However, the prosecution has told jurors the attack was “brutal and merciless”.

He accepted evidence showed he hit the Holmes Chapel High School pupil at least 15 times.

He said: "When I eventually got control of myself again I remember kneeling on the ground with the spanner in my hand and Alex was lying on the floor, still breathing, quite clearly very injured."

He added: "I felt sick. I couldn't believe it, I was in shock."

He said he got his cigarettes from the car and after 10 or 15 minutes he drove away, going to his friend's farm to clean up and later to meet friends in two pubs.

Mason, of Ash Lane, Ollerton, will continue his evidence on Friday.

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