The young man found guilty of bludgeoning a 15-year-old to death by a court in the United Kingdom was sentenced to life in prison. Matthew Mason, 19, was ordered to serve a minimum of 28 years behind bars for the brutal slaying of Alex Rodda. According to the Manchester Evening News, the judge delivered a scathing rebuke of Mason, calling him a predator who groomed his underaged victim and then murdered him when the boy threatened to expose their relationship.
“You are a selfish individual and thought about nobody but yourself,” Judge Steven Everett said as he handed down the life sentence at the Chester Crown Court on Monday.
Mason, an agricultural student who lived on a farm in Cheshire with his millionaire parents, admitted to killing Rodda with a wrench December 12, 2019, but claimed he was the victim of blackmail. He made a series of payments to the boy totally £2,000 before luring him to a secluded wooded area under the premise of sex — the pair were reportedly involved sexually but as Rodda was 15 he could not consent. Once in the woods, Mason repeatedly struck the boy on the head with a wrench as he kneeled before him.
According to prosecutors, Mason left a still-breathing Rodda to die at the scene while he went to clean up at a friend’s outhouse, and then to the local pubs for drinks with friends. Rodda’s body was found by trash men the next morning. When Mason was later arrested, the murder weapon was found in his car and Rodda’s dried blood was still on his hands.
Everett quickly dispelled any depiction of Mason as a victim in the case, noting both the brutality of the murder and the extensive planning that went into the crime.
“In the days leading up to his death you send him messages inviting him to have sex in some special or secret place,” Everett said. “You deliberately took that heavy wrench, and you chose that spot. It was a devastating weapon.”
The judge noted Mason “carried out internet research” and “hoped to make it look like he had disappeared” for purely selfish reasons.
“Your behavior was, in my judgement, a selfish pursuit to avoid attention and prevent this getting out and you were giving lie to the fact you were at breaking point,” Everett continued, later adding “It was carefully planned and ruthlessly carried out, showing no empathy and showing a callous regard for Alex, his family and his friends. You are a selfish individual and thought about nobody but yourself.”