Murderer Matthew Mason is set to learn his fate after being found guilty of killing his schoolboy lover Alex Rhodda.
Mason, aged 19, lured his 15-year-old lover into a secluded wooded area in North Cheshire before bludgeoning him to death with wrench.
He was convicted after a jury of seven women and five men found him guilty of murder by a majority of 10 to two.
Chester Crown Court heard Mason had driven Alex – whose dad runs the Bridge Inn pub in Audlem – to the woodland in Ashley, Cheshire, where he launched his murderous assault – hitting him around 15 times – on December 12, 2019.
Alex’s partially clothed body was found by refuse collectors on a country lane next to the woods the following morning.
In the months before Holmes Chapel High School pupil Alex’s death he had been in an intimate relationship with Mason during which Alex received £2,000 from him so that he did not disclose what they had been doing.
During the trial, Mason admitted he engaged in sexual activity with Alex on three occasions and borrowed money from his grandmother and used his savings to pay him off.
Mason, who studied agricultural engineering at Reaseheath College near Nantwich, was arrested driving towards Telford on the A41 in Staffordshire.
He had dried blood on his hands and fingers while a blood-stained fleece, murder weapon, and Alex’s large padded jacket was in the boot of his Renault Clio.
It was the vehicle which ultimately led to police officers tracking down Mason after a witness told police they had taken a photo of it shortly after 6pm on December 12 – it was parked on a track beside a gated entrance to the wood.
Matthew Mason will appear before Chester Crown Court later today where he will learn his fate after committed the brutal crime.
Police officers have previously applauded Alex’s friends for helping them piece together what led to his untimely death.
Detective Inspector Nigel Reid, from Cheshire Police’s Major Investigation Team, said: “It has been a painstaking investigation involving a dedicated team of detectives. They have worked extremely hard to gather evidence to show the true extent of the relationship between Mason and Alex and the true picture of what happened that night.
“I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to Mr and Mrs Rodda for their patience and support throughout the investigation.
“The true extent of Mason and Alex’s relationship could not have been done without the bravery and courage of Alex’s friends. They provided key information to the investigation, despite their grief and heartache, in order to secure justice for their friend.