Farmer’s son to serve minimum of 28 years for murdering schoolboy

A farmer’s son who murdered a schoolboy after paying more than £2,000 to stop him revealing their sexual relationship has been sentenced to a minimum of 28 years in custody.

Matthew Mason, 20, admitted bludgeoning 15-year-old Alex Rodda to death with a wrench in woods in Ashley, Cheshire, on December 12 2019 but denied murder, arguing he experienced a loss of control after being blackmailed by the teenager.

Alex Rodda (Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School/PA)
Alex Rodda (Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School/PA)

Earlier this month a jury at Chester Crown Court rejected his claims and found him guilty of murder by a majority verdict.

Sentencing Mason on Monday to a life term, the Honorary Recorder of Chester Judge Steven Everett told him: “This was a pre-meditated murder, carefully planned and, in my judgment, ruthlessly carried out showing no empathy for your victim and a callous disregard for his family and friends.”