A spurned husband who murdered his estranged wife’s new lover with the help of his son after chasing him to his home in Norfolk and finding him hiding in a wardrobe has been jailed today.
Wayne Peckham, 49, was sentenced to 24 years in prison after being found guilty of the ‘gripping and brutal’ murder of Matthew Rodwell, 39. His son Riley Peckham, 23, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his part in the January 23 murder , 2022.
Wayne, estranged from his wife Kerry Peckham, let himself into the house Kerry shared with Matthew after her son Riley climbed through a first-floor window.
Riley shouted ‘you’re going to die’, ‘doggy here’ and ‘good boy’ before finding him in Kerry’s youngest son’s bedroom closet in Downham Market, Norfolk.
Norwich Crown Court learned that the pair had found Mr Rodwell before beating and strangling him at the bottom of the stairs. He was pronounced dead on the spot.
A rejected husband who murdered his estranged wife’s new lover with the help of his son after finding him hiding in a wardrobe has been sentenced today to 24 years in prison. Wayne Peckham, 49, (pictured) was jailed after being found guilty of the ‘gripping and brutal’ murder of Matthew Rodwell, 39
His son Riley Peckham, 23, (pictured) was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Jan. 23, 2022, for his part in the murder.
Wayne, estranged from his wife Kerry Peckham, pictured left, let himself into the home Kerry shared with Matthew (right) after her son Riley climbed through a first-floor window
An autopsy revealed Mr Rodwell had 40 ‘significant’ injuries after being kicked, punched and punched repeatedly. His probable cause of death was found to be manual strangulation.
Mr. Rodwell’s blood was found on the clothing of Wayne and Riley, of Hilgay, Norfolk, and Mr. Rodwell’s DNA was found under the fingernails of both men. Riley’s DNA was also found on Mr. Rodwell’s neck.
Kerry tried to get between the couple and Matthew to stop them. Matthew had 40 ‘significant’ injuries from being kicked, punched and punched.
The pair then chased down Matthew, beating and strangling him in front of Mrs Peckham.
The father and son from Hilgay, Norfolk, were sentenced on Tuesday to 24 and 18 years respectively for murder by Norwich Crown Court, Norfolk.
The jury took 10 hours to deliberate before unanimously finding the couple guilty after a six-week trial. The pair had denied the murder.
Judge Anthony Bate said: ‘Wayne had committed targeted vandalism of Matthew’s car, stalked him on previous occasions and set fire to a coat Matthew had bought for Wayne’s youngest son Harvey and posted the video to Facebook.
Riley sided with his father against Matthew. Their visit (to Matthew’s house) was not a speculative social visit. Suspecting that Matthew was there with Kerry, they decided to do him some serious harm.
“This was a brutal and persistent attack on a man in his home and in front of her partner, who was herself injured. The attack was not spontaneous. Wayne Peckham’s premeditation is significant.”
Riley had found Matthew’s pair of shoes at the bottom of the stairs on January 23, 2022 and called out to his father outside the house. Wayne then let himself in through the front door.
Matthew, a garbage man and father of two, had dialed 999 from the wardrobe after realizing the couple were outside and told the operator he was afraid of what was about to happen.
Riel Karmy-Jones KC, prosecutor, said Rodwell of Fincham, Norfolk, was ‘terrified of being found by Riley and Wayne’.
She said during the conversation, made from a bedroom closet in Kerry’s younger son’s room, that Mr Rodwell expressed “genuine fear about what was about to happen.”
Kerry said they “beat and beat the life out of him.” She was also injured herself.
A recording of Matthew’s 999 call heard his last word, “sorry,” before recording a “gut throat” a minute later.
Matthew, a garbage man (pictured) and father of two, had dialed 999 from the wardrobe after realizing the couple were outside and told the operator he was afraid of what was about to happen
An autopsy revealed Mr Rodwell, who was pronounced dead at the scene at his home in Downham Market, Norfolk, had 40 ‘significant’ injuries after being kicked, punched and punched repeatedly. His probable cause of death was found to be manual strangulation. Pictured with his partner Kerry Peckham
Riley shouted ‘you’re going to die’, ‘doggy here’ and ‘good boy’ before finding him in Kerry’s youngest son’s bedroom closet in Downham Market, Norfolk. Norwich Crown Court heard the pair found Mr Rodwell (pictured with Kerry) before beating and strangling him at the bottom of the stairs. He was pronounced dead on the spot
Police arrived around 8:05 p.m. and heard “screaming” from inside. A distraught Kerry Peckham came to the door as Mr Rodwell’s body lay in the hallway.
Wayne was detained at the scene after initially attempting to hide behind a curtain, while Riley escaped in handcuffs. A few hours later, he was caught at his step-grandfather’s address.
The court heard that Kerry Peckham moved in with Mr Rodwell after ending her “turbulent” relationship with Wayne, the father of her three children, who was “rough, fickle and controlling” towards her.
Ms Karmy-Jones said Wayne could be ‘aggressive’ after drinking and was a ‘bad influence’ on his son Riley.
In addition to murder, Wayne was convicted of assaulting his wife with assault causing actual bodily harm on the same night.
He was also convicted of assault involving another family in Downham Market in December 2021, causing actual bodily harm, and sentenced to 15 months and 16 months for the assaults, concurrent with his 24-year life sentence.
Riley was also convicted of assault with actual bodily harm resulting from the same incident in December 2021 and sentenced to 12 months and eight months to run concurrently with his 18-year sentence.
Matthew and Kerry got together after she left Wayne in the spring of 2021.
Matthew had moved into her home in Downham Market, but parked a short distance away to prevent Wayne from finding out.
The court heard that Wayne had spent the afternoon in a pub before going to her home, where the pair moved a doorbell and CCTV camera.
Ms Karmy-Jones said the pair “acted together to settle accounts” as a “joint venture”.
Senior Detective Inspector Chris Burgess, of the Major Investigation Team, said: ‘This was a harrowing and brutal murder.
“I know that some of the evidence given in court, especially the 911 call, was difficult to listen to.
“In this call we hear the final terrifying moments of Matthew’s life, a life that was taken by the actions of two men overcome with jealousy and rage, who acted like a pack of animals.
“I would like to thank Matthew’s family and friends for their patience, support and courage during this investigation and I am grateful that the jury reached the correct verdict in this case.
Our thoughts remain with Matthew’s family and friends, and we will continue to support them for as long as they need.
“This was one of two murder inquiries launched on the same night following the tragic death of 19-year-old Lauren Malt who was found murdered in nearby West Winch.
“While the timing and proximity of the incidents presented challenges, we had sufficient resources to handle the murder investigations, both of which led to prosecution of the perpetrators.”