United Kingdom

Husband ‘found estranged wife’s new lover in cupboard before beating him to death with his son’

A father murdered his wife’s new lover with the help of their son after they found him cowering in a bedroom cupboard, a court has been told.

Wayne Peckham, 49, and son Riley Peckham, 23, allegedly attacked Matthew Rodwell, 39, shortly after he had made a frantic 999 call to police from his hiding place.

Mr Rodwell is said to have been repeatedly kicked, stamped and punched and died from strangulation at the house in Downham Market, Norfolk. 

Norwich Crown Court heard how Mr Rodwell had been in a relationship with Wayne’s estranged wife – and Riley’s mother – Kerry Peckham and was at her home on the evening of January 23 last year. 

Both defendants deny the charges of murder against them. 

Wayne Peckham, 49, denied murder and a charge of assaulting his wife causing actual bodily harm at Norwich Crown Court

Riley Peckham, 23, has denied murder and a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Norwich Crown Court

Riley Peckham, 23, has denied murder and a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Norwich Crown Court 

Matthew Rodwell, 39, is said to have been repeatedly kicked, stamped and punched and died from strangulation

Matthew Rodwell, 39, is said to have been repeatedly kicked, stamped and punched and died from strangulation

It is alleged that the father and son had killed him ‘to settle scores’ in a ‘joint enterprise’

Prosecutor Riel Karmy-Jones KC said Mr Rodwell was ‘terrified about being found by Riley and Wayne’ and hid in the cupboard when he realised they had turned up at the house just before 8pm.

She said: ‘Matthew, still hiding in a cupboard upstairs, heard Kerry downstairs. He hid in the wardrobe and called 999.’

During this call the prosecutor claims, Mr Rodwell was heard to express ‘genuine fear about what was about to take place.’

The court heard that Kerry Peckham had split from husband Wayne (pictured) in Spring 2021

The court heard that Kerry Peckham had split from husband Wayne (pictured) in Spring 2021

Kerry Peckham began a relationship with father-of-two Matthew Rodwell, a refuse worker for Serco

Kerry Peckham began a relationship with father-of-two Matthew Rodwell, a refuse worker for Serco

The court heard Kerry Peckham allowed her son Riley into the house after he climbed onto the roof

The court heard Kerry Peckham allowed her son Riley into the house after he climbed onto the roof

The court heard how Mrs Peckham began a relationship with father-of-two Mr Rodwell, a refuse worker for Serco, after splitting up from her husband in Spring 2021.

Jurors were told how he later moved into her home, but had been parking his car some distance away to avoid her estranged husband finding out.

Ms Karmy-Jones described the attack on Mr Rodwell as a ‘planned and vicious assault’.

She added: ‘Riley and Wayne were at the time of the incidents not just father and son, but close allies.

‘Both of them were content to use aggression and violence to achieve their aims’.

The court heard how Wayne had spent the afternoon in the pub before heading to his wife’s home with his son.

He allegedly hung back while Riley went into the back garden, found the conservatory door locked and climbed on the roof to get through a window.

Jurors were told that Mrs Peckham had allowed her son Riley into the house through a window after she heard him on the roof outside.

Once inside, it’s claimed that Riley Peckham discovered Mr Rodwell’s shoes and found him hiding in the cupboard screaming: ‘He’s here.’

Upon hearing the Peckhams were outside Matthew Rodwell is said to have become terrified and called 999

Upon hearing the Peckhams were outside Matthew Rodwell is said to have become terrified and called 999

The court heard that Kerry Peckham (left) had tried to prevent Wayne from entering the house

The court heard that Kerry Peckham (left) had tried to prevent Wayne from entering the house

At this point, the court heard, Wayne Peckham had also entered the house despite Mrs Peckham protesting that she wanted both men to leave.

Continuing her prosecution, Ms Karmy-Jones said that after discovering Mr Rodwell, Riley was heard saying: ‘You’re going to die, you’re going to die.’

At this point, Mrs Peckham claims she heard a struggle begin upstairs which led her to try and prevent her husband from going upstairs by ‘blocking him’.

At this, Wayne Peckham was said to have ‘barged past’ his wife on the stairs in an effort to reach the top of the stairs where Riley and Mr Rodwell were ‘grappling with each other’.

Ms Karmy-Jones said: ‘It’s clear she cannot see exactly what happens and she falls down the stairs’.

Mr Rodwell also ended up at the bottom of the stairs although ‘she couldn’t see exactly how’ he had got there.

When at the bottom of the stairs Wayne Peckham began ‘kicking, stamping and punching’ Mr Rodwell to ‘his body and face’, added Ms Karmy-Jones.

Jurors were told how Mrs Peckham tried to prevent the attack by placing her body on top of Mr Rodwell, and was also struck.

Ms Karmy-Jones said that Mr Rodwell was pronounced dead at the scene. He had ‘over 40 significant injuries as a result of the attack that was inflicted upon him’.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Rodwell died as a result of strangulation.

Police were called to the scene where they arrested Wayne Peckham and handcuffed Riley who then escaped

Police were called to the scene where they arrested Wayne Peckham and handcuffed Riley who then escaped 

Mr Rodwell was pronounced dead at the house in Downham Market, Norfolk

Mr Rodwell was pronounced dead at the house in Downham Market, Norfolk

Police arrived at about 8.05pm and could hear ‘screaming’ from inside the house.

A distraught Kerry Peckham came to the door with the body of Mr Rodwell was found lying in the hall.

Her husband was detained at the scene, after he had initially tried to hide behind a curtain, while Riley was handcuffed, but then escaped, the court was told.

He was caught a couple of hours later at his step-grandfather’s address.

The court heard how Mrs Peckham had moved in with Mr Rodwell after ending her ‘turbulent’ relationship with her husband, the father of her three children, who was ‘rough, volatile and controlling’ towards her. 

The father and son are also accused of attacking a young couple, Georgia Daniels, 22, and Max Hudson, in their home, after Daniels was said to have made accusations against Riley in the local Tesco store.

The prosecution said that Riley ‘stormed in through the patio doors’ after creeping around the back of the property where the couple were watching television.

He allegedly attacked them and his father reportedly followed him in.

Mr Hudson’s stepfather, Justin Henson was also in the property when the incident happened, as well as his mother, Samantha Hudson and her 15-year-old daughter.

Mr Henson was said to have intervened and helped Max in restraining the Peckhams until the police arrived.

Ms Karmy-Jones said: ‘Georgia and Max had been fortunate that there were others in the house to help them. On January 23, Kerry and Matt were not so lucky.’

Wayne Peckham denies murder, a charge of assaulting his wife causing actual bodily harm on January 23 last year and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and another offence of assault by beating in relation to an earlier incident in Downham Market on December 4, 2021.

Riley Peckham also denies murder and a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to the same incident on December 4, 2021.

Ms Karmy-Jones said the prosecution case was that this was a ‘joint enterprise’ in which the two defendants had ‘acted together to settle scores’.

The trial continues.


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