Farmer’s son, 19, ‘battered lover, 15, to death over £2k blackmail plot to expose their sexual relationship’

Matthew Mason allegedly took Alex Rodda to woodland in a sleepy Cheshire village on the “pretence of sexual activity”.

While there, the 19-year-old murdered him in “cold blood” using a long wrench to repeatedly batter him, it was said.

Alex was later found partially clothed by refuse collectors on December 13 last year after he was reported missing.

Chester Crown Court heard today how the pair had “enjoyed an intimate sexual relationship” but Alex was “threatening” to post explicit photos and videos Mason had allegedly sent him.

By November 23, Mason had paid £2,020 to Alex, jurors were told.

Opening the case, prosecutor Ian Unsworth QC said: “For reasons, you may conclude, borne out of that relationship, the defendant took Alex to a remote wooded area near Ashley, not far from Bowdon in Cheshire. 

“There, the defendant used a heavy and long wrench to beat Alex to the head and body over and over again.

“The attack was brutal and merciless. The overall pattern of the injuries was indicative of a violent repetitive assault with that wrench estimated to have involved the landing of at least 15 separate heavy blows.

“Alex did not stand a chance. His life ended in those woods. 

“His partially clothed abandoned young body was discovered by a team of refuse collectors the next morning.

“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.”

Jurors heard how Alex was openly gay and attended Holmes Chapel school.

He had known Mason “for some months” leading up to his death, it was said.

Mason meanwhile had a girlfriend of around two years who had been messaged by Alex on November 3.

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.”

Alex also said Mason was “flirty” and claimed he sent him a picture of his privates and an explicit video, jurors were told.

The court heard how Mason denied sending the items but began making payments to Alex’s bank account at the same time.

Alex had told a pal Mason was paying him for sex and said he would report him to police if he stopped, it was said.

Mr Unsworth said: “The messages that have been recovered show that, over time, the defendant was complaining that the payments were cleaning him out.”

Mason, of Knutsford, denies murder.

The trial continues.

Alex Rodda was found dead in woodland last December