THE father of a schoolboy who was brutally murdered by a 19-year-old has shared his family’s relief at the jury’s guilty verdict.

Alex Rodda, a 15-year-old Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School student from Pickmere, was hit 15 times with a wrench on December 12, 2019, by Matthew Mason, of Ash Lane, Ollerton.

Following a long and difficult trial for the family, which exposed a number of claims from Mason about his intimate relationship with the boy he would go on to kill, Alex’s father Adam admitted his delight that justice had been done.

Speaking outside the court after Mason had been led away from the dock, Adam said: "It was extremely difficult, especially as we as a family knew that a lot of what was being said would not have come from Alex.

Northwich Guardian:

From left: Det Insp Nigel Reid with Alex's brother Adam Jnr, his mother Lisa, dad Adam and his partner Maxine Pritchard

"So it was very difficult, but, at the end of the day, it was a process we had to go through and hopefully, although it won't bring Alex back, we're in a position where we can start to think positively about moving forward in our lives.

"You would not believe how relieved we are (to have a guilty verdict).

"We wouldn't have accepted anything else, we would have been distraught if any other verdict had been given.

"We prayed and we are obviously delighted that justice has been done."

Mason will appear in Chester Crown Court to be sentenced on January 25.