Teenager handed 28-year sentence for murder of schoolboy Alex Rodda in Ashley

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A teenager has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of 28 years for the murder of a schoolboy in Ashley.

Matthew Mason, 19, was earlier this month found guilty of the murder of 15-year-old Alex Rodda on Thursday December 12th 2019.

He had used a wrench to repeatedly beat Alex an estimated 15 times before dumping his body on Ashley Mill Lane, on the border between Hale and Ashley, the following morning.

Today at Chester Crown Court, Judge Steven Everett told Mason he was a “selfish individual”.

Sentencing, he said: “This was carefully planned and ruthlessly carried out, showing no empathy and a callous disregard for Alex, his family and friends.

Alex Rodda was described by his mum as “loving, so gentle, so kind”

“You are a selfish individual and thought about nobody but yourself.

“You were only thinking about yourself and you cared not a jot for anybody else.

“He didn’t realise the consequences of what he was doing, you clearly understood this. In reality not only were you much older, not just in years, but more emotionally mature than him.”

In the months before Alex’s death he had been in an intimate relationship with Mason during which Alex received money from him so that he did not disclose their relationship.

A police cordon set up on Ashley Mill Lane the day after Alex’s body was found

Judge Everett said Mason had “groomed” Alex by encouraging him to involve himself in “what was clearly his first real sexual experience”.

In a statement outside court after the hearing, reported by the MEN, Alex’s father Adam said: “We do feel justice has been served – we don’t think any sentence would be too little and we understand the guidelines set by the legal justice system

“It’s been pretty horrendous having to listen to the graphic details of the injuries Alex sustained.”

Judge Steven Everett described Mason as a “selfish individual”

He added: “He admitted killing Alex, and we could have been saved from that trauma. We can now get back to trying to remember Alex and create a legacy far removed from the outcome of what has been said in court in the last three weeks.

“He hasn’t shown any remorse and thought only of himself. We don’t have any sympathy for Mason.”

Alex’s mum, Lisa, said: “He was loving, so gentle, so kind, even if you didn’t want to smile he had one of those smiles that was contagious. He was brought up only in love.”

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