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A British mechanic-in-training is accused of luring a schoolboy into a secluded area and bludgeoning him to death after the boy threatened to reveal their sexual relationship.
Matthew Mason, now 19, allegedly murdered Alex Rodda, 15, last year to keep him quiet about their secret relationship, prosecutors claimed during Mason’s murder trial, the BBC reports.
Rodda’s partially naked body was found in a wooded area on Dec. 13, 2019, the Manchester Evening News reports. He had been beaten at least 15 times with a long wrench.
Prosecutor Ian Unsworth of the Queen’s Council told Chester Crown Court that Mason lured the boy to the wooded area "on the pretence of sexual activity and then murdered him in cold blood,” the BBC reports.
Unsworth told the court that the victim and suspect "enjoyed an intimate sexual relationship,” the BBC reports.
Mason, then 18, had a girlfriend at the time and Unsworth stated that Rodda had reached out to her weeks before the murder, claiming he was receiving “flirty” messages and sexual images from Mason. Unsworth told the court that the victim confided in a friend that Mason began paying him for sex. He told the friend that if the payments stopped, he would report him, Unsworth said.
Mason had allegedly paid the teen £2,020. Recovered messages allegedly show that Mason complained that the teen was "cleaning him out."
Mason has denied killing Rodda. His lawyer Gordon Cole told the jury that they should consider that the killing could have been out of self-defense, the BBC reports. He claimed that Mason organized the pair’s final meeting so he could tell Rodda that "this behavior, this blackmail, had to stop.”
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