A UK teen is under trial and the prosecution says he’s using his fear of coming out and being “cleaned out” by blackmail as an excuse for murder.
The Manchester Evening News reports that 15-year-old Alex Rodda’s semi-naked body was discovered by Cheshire police in 2019. They quickly found a prime subject in then-18-year-old Matthew Mason. Prosecutors alleged that Mason brought Rodda into the woods with the bait of having sex. They argue, however, that Mason had deadlier plans in his head.
“Alex did not stand a chance,” prosecutor Ian Unsworth said in court. “His life ended in those woods. His partially clothed abandoned young body was discovered by a team of refuse collectors early the next morning. His trousers and underwear gathered around his ankles, suggesting that he may have been engaged in some form of sexual activity prior to the attack and thus, may well have been highly vulnerable at that time.”
The now 19-year-old apprentice mechanic met Rodda over Instagram. The relationship started off as a friendship, but things soon became flirtatious. But while Rodda, a student at Holmes Chapel High School, was openly gay, Mason was not. On top of that, Rodda later discovered, according to prosecutors and text message evidence, that Mason had a girlfriend of two years. Mason, however, denied the idea of an affair. It was then that he started making cash payments to Rodda for the teen’s silence.
The relationship became even more hostile after money was exchanged. Text messages between the two show that Mason complained after sending more than £2,000 over a span of three weeks. Rodda, however, kept pressing for more. Mason’s lawyers call Rodda’s threats “akin to blackmail.” Meanwhile, the defense is adamant that Mason did not kill Rodda.
As the trial continues, friends and family of Alex Rodda have made grieving comments about the youth. Rodda’s family released a joint statement, which was released by Cheshire police, in December. In that statement, the family said that Rodda, “Loved life and made friends wherever he went. He will be sorely missed.”
Alex’s mother Lisa added: “Everybody loved Alex. He was caring and kind. Alex was a beautiful son. I am heartbroken.”
His father, Adam, added on Facebook that Rodda was a ‘Perfect and beautiful boy. I love you more than life itself.”
Source: The Manchester Evening News