Last texts between teen killer and lover
The chilling final texts between a boy and the teenage lover he killed reveal how their relationship spiralled towards murder.
Matthew Mason, 19, was found guilty of battering Alex Rodda, 15, to death over a scheme to expose their sexual relationship - with a string of messages at the heart of the tragedy, The Sun reports.
Matthew murdered schoolboy Alex in remote woodland in Cheshire on December 12 last year.
He was found guilty of murder on Thursday following a month-long trial at Chester Crown Court.
The killer lured his lover on the "pretence of sexual activity" before bludgeoning him in "cold blood", the court heard.
Chilling final texts heard by the court earlier this week unveiled how their "relationship" violently unravelled in just six weeks.
Alex, who was openly gay, had known Mason at Holmes Chapel High School - but on the surface the pair had little in common, Manchester Evening News reports.
Jurors heard how Mason, who lived with his millionaire parents on a farm near Knutsford, had began messaging Alex in October 2019.
The texts were initially brief and polite but turned sexual after a week.
According to Mason, Alex claimed he was "fit" and the pair began swapping pictures on Snapchat.
Mason later sent his Year 11 lover an explicit photo and video after getting drunk on a night out at the pub.
But Alex threatened to post their conversation online and messaged Mason's girlfriend of two years, Caitlyn Lancashire, on November 3 about the sexual texts.
He wrote to Caitlyn: "I thought I should let you know that the past 2-3 weeks matt has been trying to message me he came to my house in his car to meet me last week but I told him my dad wouldn't let me out so I didn't meet him.
"I have told him it has to stop but just thought I'd let you know before he does a d***head move and I didn't know he was dating you until I went to go follow him on lnstagram."
Alex then messaged Mason, apparently to explain why he had contacted Caitlyn and claimed their flirty conversations were "wrong".
The 15-year-old wrote to Mason: "u have a gf that loves [you], there's no need to speak to me."
An hour later, he added: "Look, your gf loves you. She doesn't know what to think because she [and] you were together for 2 years like wtf if u were that serious u should not of got your d*** out at the end of the day.
"U need to tell your gf the truth Matt because I already have."
'I'VE GOT THE PROOF'
At this point, the pair's relationship began to spiral amid threats from Alex that he would upload the explicit photo to social media if Mason didn't pay him $87.
Alex told Mason: "Remember when you sent me ur d*** n u w***** oh yeah I got the picture you sent.
"Don't lie now there's no point Matt I've got the proof."
When Mason denied this, Alex said: "I will literally put your d*** on my story and @ you if you don't stop lying."
Mason replied to say he was talking to Caitlyn - but was dumped by her following her conversation with Alex.
By November 23, Mason had paid $3,528 to Alex as he was "embarrassed about what had happened".
Text messages showed that Alex persisted in asking Mason for more money, despite Alex telling him he was "skint" and "couldn't afford it".
Alex's friends, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told cops that the teen knew what he was doing "wasn't right" - but said "he still did it".
One close pal of Alex told the jury that the teen "saw it as a game", adding: "The difference between him being a child and an adult - he was naive. I don't think he understood the concept of everything."
On December 12, Mason tricked Alex into meeting him in the woods in a murderous plot to silence him.
Alex was last seen on CCTV leaving his house on Holly Grove, Knutsford at 5.24pm after Mason messaged him on Snapchat and asked him to get into his car.
The 15-year-old had expressed concern to pals over text that "this guy I'm meeting wants to take me to a special secret place in a forest" - but decided to go anyway because he "needed the money".
Minutes after getting into Mason's car, Alex posted a picture on Snapchat of himself inside the vehicle with a small love heart emoji at the bottom.
It was the last message Alex ever sent.
Once in the woods near at Ashley, near Altrincham, Greater Manchester, Mason beat Alex repeatedly in a "brutal and merciless" attack - reigning at least 15 blows on the schoolboy's head.
Mason left stricken Alex for dead in the woods even though he could see he was still breathing.
He then made his way to a pal's home to clean himself up and visited friends in two pubs - posting a selfie from one to "lay the ground" for an alibi.
Mason admitted he hit the Holmes Chapel High School pupil at least 15 times but claimed he was acting in self defence after Alex hit him first.
He will be sentenced on January 25.
Judge Steven Everett told him: "Frankly, you were convicted on overwhelming evidence.
"You ran this trial as long as you possibly could in the hope you could sneak away from a conviction of murder."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission
Originally published as Last texts between teen killer and lover