THE parents of murdered 15-year-old Alex Rodda said how much their 'beautiful baby boy' would be hugely missed by all his friends and family.

Adam and Lisa Rodda, both read impact statements at Chester Crown Court as their son's killer, Matthew Mason, 20, was sentenced to life behind bars for the brutal killing.

Mr Rodda said: "He was my youngest child of five.

"Alex would always say that he loved you at the end of every phone call.

"This would be irrespective of whether he was with his friends or not.

"It never stopped him as it was just a natural thing for him to say.

"He had a confident and happy outlook and we will never get over the loss of our beautiful baby boy.

"He will never get to experience the joy of getting married, of having children, or learning to drive and owning his first car, something he was very excited about doing."

Mr Rodda said he felt he had failed to protect his son when he needed him the most, a statement Judge Everett, The Honorary Recorder for Chester, told him was not true and that Mason was the only person at fault.

"I am devastated he was scared and alone prior to his death," Mr Rodda said.

"Although we are unlikely to know what exactly happened in those woods, I feel like I failed to protect my beautiful boy Alex.

"I will miss the time we had and I will always cherish it."

Mr Rodda said Matthew Mason had lied to the court for his own gain, saying that whatever sentence he was given would have been 'too little'.

He added: "He will still be alive and be able to see his family and resume some form of life when he gets released.

"He did not tell the truth.

"He has never for one moment shown compassion or remorse, other than his own.

"I have never experienced a person as cold and calculated as Mason."

Alex's mother Lisa, also read an impact statement to the court, saying how she had brought her son up 'with love' and to be proud of who he was.

She said: "When you lose a child, you lose yourself, your biggest treasure.

"We all have a choice and we can choose love or fear.

"Alex was raised in love.

"He was happy and full of enthusiasm for life.

"He still called me Mummy, something which his friends found amusing.

"There are no words of the pain of losing a child to murder.

"We had waited so long for Alex to come along. He was our miracle baby.

"He was a wonderful boy."

Mrs Rodda went on to say how her son had 'no aggression in him' and had a calming demeanour, who would always take the time to talk to those who needed it.

"If there was a fly in the house, he couldn't kill it and would have to ask someone to remove it.

"He was so tragically and cruelly taken away from us.

"I do not think about tomorrow or the past because the pain is too great to do both of those things.

"I suffer from nightmares about what happened to him that night and have the terrible mental images of that hell in my mind."

Mason was told he must serve at least 28 years before he is even considered eligible for parole.