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A 19-year-old mechanic in the UK stands accused of the murder of his 15-year-old lover as part of an elaborate scheme involving blackmail and outing.
The murder in question happened in December 2019. Authorities in Cheshire discovered the body of 15-year-old Alex Rodda in a forest near the town of Ashley. Prosecutors allege that then-18-year-old Matthew Mason lured Rodda to the woods under the pretense of sex, then beat him to death with a wrench.
“Alex did not stand a chance,” prosecutor Ian Unsworth said in 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.”
Unsworth further alleged that Mason murdered Rodda “in cold blood.”
The Manchester Evening News further reports that Rodda and Mason met on Instagram and began a flirtatious relationship. That friendship eventually became sexual, which the two maintained in secret. Rodda was openly gay, but Mason was not. When Rodda learned that Mason actually had a girlfriend of two years, he became enraged. Rodda contacted Mason’s girlfriend to inform her of the affair.
Mason denied the relationship to his girlfriend, but began sending cash payments to Rodda to keep him silent. Those payments eventually totaled more than £2,000 over a three-week period. Text messages presented in court show Mason complaining that Rodda was “cleaning him out.” Other messages showed Rodda threatening to to go the police, at one point telling Mason he “Will tell the fed and get him on sex offenders.”
During that time, Rodda also had a number of unexplained absences from school. On at least one occasion, Rodda’s mother came home unexpectedly and found he and Mason alone and “flustered” in their home.
Lawyers for Mason have equated Rodda’s threats to blackmail. Matthew Mason denies killing Alex Rodda.