Documentary features mother of boy killed by millionaire farmer's son

Documentary features mother of boy killed by millionaire farmer's son

11/17/2021

Mother of schoolboy, 15, killed by 18-year-old son of a millionaire farmer to stop him exposing their relationship says her son was ‘punished and cruelly ripped away’ for being ‘free and himself’ in new documentary

  • Matthew Mason bludgeoned 15-year-old Alex Rodda to death with a wrench 
  • The killer, then 18, had been involved in an intimate sexual relationship with Alex 
  • In a new documentary, The Murder of Alex Rodda: Social Media Murders, Alex’s mother Lisa breaks down in tears

A mother of a schoolboy who was murdered by a millionaire farmer’s son to stop him from exposing their gay affair has insisted her child was ‘punished and cruelly ripped away’ for being ‘free and himself’.

On 12 December 2019, Matthew Mason, then 18, lured Alex Rodda to remote woodland near the village of Ashley in Cheshire with the promise of sex before beating him to death with a wrench.

The killer had been involved in an intimate sexual relationship with Alex, but the 15-year-old eventually discovered Mason had been dating a girl for two years.

Fearful of being exposed, Mason – who was jailed for life after being found guilty of murder – later paid the teenager £2,000 to keep quiet about their liaisons in the weeks leading up to Alex’s death.

In a new ITV2 documentary, The Murder of Alex Rodda: Social Media Murders, which airs tonight at 9pm and tells the tragic story, Alex’s mother Lisa breaks down in tears as she recalls her last conversation with her son in which he left home to meet Mason.

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On 12 December 2019, Matthew Mason, then 18, lured Alex Rodda (pictured) to remote woodland near the village of Ashley in Cheshire with the promise of sex before beating him to death with a wrench

In a new ITV2 documentary, The Murder of Alex Rodda: Social Media Murders, which airs tonight at 9pm and tells the tragic story, Alex’s mother Lisa (pictured) breaks down in tears as she recalls her last conversation with her son in which he left home to meet Mason

Mason (pictured) had been involved in an intimate sexual relationship with Alex, but the 15-year-old eventually discovered Mason had been dating a girl for two years

Speaking on the programme, she says: ‘Alex’s life was so cruelly ripped away from him, all at the hands of some other boy who could not be free, and be himself. My son was punished for it.’

Alex’s father Adam Rodda Snr, also appears in the documentary, and shares his sadness that his son won’t ever experience a healthy romantic relationship. 

He says: ‘At one point Masen said, “Alex tried to kiss me and I said no kissing”. That made my blood boil. 

‘And that to me is unforgivable, because those are one of the things that my boy’s missed out on. He’s missed out on a loving relationship. He’ll never have that.’

Mason was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 28 years to serve before being considered for release by the Parole Board. After appealing his sentence, the minimum term was reduced to 26 years. 


Fearful of being exposed, Mason (pictured left) – who was jailed for life after being found guilty of murder – later paid the teenager (pictured right) £2,000 to keep quiet about their liaisons in the weeks leading up to Alex’s death

During his month-long trial, it was revealed that Alex had been in an intimate sexual relationship with Mason prior to the killing in 2019. 

But coming from a wealthy farming background, Mason believed that his friends would not accept him if he was gay or bisexual. 

In the week before the murder, Mason made internet searches for phrases including ‘what would happen if you kicked someone down the stairs’, ‘everyday poison’ and ‘The mysteries of Cheshire unsolved deaths of missing people’. 

Alex’s semi-naked body was found by refuse collectors on December 13, 2019. His head and body had suffered at least 15 blows.

Sentencing Mason 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.’ 

After the 20-year-old was found guilty of murder in January 2021, Alex’s family said: ‘We have never come across a more selfish, cold and calculating person.’  


Alex’s parents previously released a video, pictured left, of their 15-year-old son, pictured right

Mason admitted hitting Alex with the wrench but denied murder, arguing he acted in self-defence and that he had lost control after being provoked.  

He told the court he did not believe his friends would accept him if he was gay or bisexual. 

The trial heard Alex had contacted Mason’s then girlfriend, Caitlyn Lancashire, in November 2019 and told her he had been sending ‘flirty’ messages and an explicit picture and video.

Mason denied the allegations to his girlfriend but began making payments to Alex’s bank account at around the same time.

By the time of Alex’s death, Mason had transferred more than £2,200 and was asking friends and family to borrow money, the court heard.

Mason, who lived with his family on a farm near Knutsford, admitted having sex with Alex but said he thought it was ‘wrong’.

On December 12, 2019, Mason picked up Alex from outside his house and drove him to a secluded woodland area outside Ashley, near Altrincham. Pictured: Alex’s brother Adam, his mother Lisa, his father Adam and Adam’s partner Maxine Pritchard

On December 12, 2019, Mason picked up Alex from outside his house and drove him to a secluded woodland area outside Ashley, near Altrincham. 

He beat the popular schoolboy to death with a large metal wrench in what the pathologist described as ‘a violent, repetitive assault.’ 

Mason stayed with Alex’s body for around an hour before leaving the area and going to a friend’s outhouse to clean himself up.

He then went to two different pubs where he was seen on CCTV having a pint with friends and sending a Snapchat selfie to his group of friends of him smiling, which was shown to the court.

At around 2am, Mason drove back to the secluded spot and attempted to move Alex’s body by dragging it from the woodland. After moving his body 20m, he gave up and drove home. 

In the hours after his murder, Alex’s mother was becoming increasingly concerned when he did not return home and she made numerous attempts to ring his phone but the calls would not connect. 

She rang a number of his friends, who knew he had formed a relationship with Mason so messaged him over two hours. 

Alex’s mother was made aware of this and contacted Mason before reporting her son missing to police. 

Most of their calls and messages went unanswered as Mason travelled back to the scene of his crime.

The Murder of Alex Rodda: Social Media Murders, tonight at 9pm on ITV2 and ITV Hub 

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