Father and son 'murdered wife's new lover after finding him hiding in wardrobe'

Matthew Rodwell, left, died following an alleged attack by a father and son in Downham Market, Norfolk. (SWNS)
Matthew Rodwell, left, died following an alleged attack by a father and son in Downham Market, Norfolk. (SWNS)

A father and his son murdered his wife's new partner after finding him hiding in an upstairs wardrobe at her home in Downham Market, Norfolk, a court has heard.

Wayne Peckham, 49, and his son, Riley Peckham, 23, are accused of murdering Matthew Rodwell, 39, on 23 January last year

A post-mortem examination revealed that Rodwell died as a result of strangulation, Norwich Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

The court heard he suffered more than 40 "significant injuries" during the alleged attack, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Both Peckham and his son deny murder.

The court heard they attacked Rodwell after finding him at the home of Wayne's wife and Riley's mother, Kerry, with whom he had started a relationship.

FILE PICTURE - Police at the scene in in Bulrush Avenue, Downham. A father and son killed a man in a “planned and vicious assault,” a court heard.  See SWNS story SWLSrodwell.  Wayne Peckham, 48, and Riley Peckham, 23, deny murdering Matthew Rodwell, 39, who was in a relationship with Peckham Snr’s former wife Kerry Peckam, who is also the mother of Peckham Jnr.  Both appeared at Norwich Crown Court, accused of murdering Mr Rodwell at a property in Bulrush Avenue, Downham.
A father and son are accused of murdering a man at a house in Downham Market, Norfolk. (SWNS)

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Riel Karmy-Jones KC, prosecuting, said Rodwell, from Fincham, Norfolk, had hidden in a wardrobe when the pair arrived at the house, and from there made a 999 call to police.

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

She said Rodwell was "terrified about being found by Riley and Wayne".

During the call, made from the wardrobe in the bedroom of her youngest son, Rodwell expressed "genuine fear about what was about to take place", the court heard.

Mrs Peckham had let her son Riley in through a window after she heard him on a roof outside. She had tried to get him to leave but he shouted and then his father entered the house.

Riley then discovered Rodwell in the wardrobe after picking up his shoes, the court was told.

Karmy-Jones said: "Riley said: 'You're going to die, you're going to die'."

Mrs Peckham could hear her son and Rodwell "grappling with each other" upstairs and tried to block her husband, but he "barged" past.

A general view of Norwich Crown and County Court   (Photo by Stephen Pond/PA Images via Getty Images)
Father and son Wayne and Riley Peckham are on trial for murder at Norwich Crown Court. (PA)

Mrs Peckham tried to grab hold of his leg as Rodwell was assaulted at the top of the stairs, the court heard.

She then fell down the stairs and did not see "exactly what happens", the prosecutor said.

The court heard Rodwell also ended up at the bottom of the stairs, where Wayne began "kicking, stamping and punching" him to "his body and face".

Mrs Peckham tried to protect Mr Rodwell and was also struck, the court was told.

Karmy-Jones said he had "over 40 significant injuries as a result of the attack that was inflicted upon him".

Matthew Rodwell. See SWNS story SWCAmurder. A father and son accused of murdering a dad of two at his home in a quiet cul-de-sac have appeared in court.  Lorry driver Wayne Peckham, 47, and son Riley, 22, are said to have killed 39-year-old Matthew Rodwell on Sunday night (Jan 23).  Wearing grey jumpers, the pair appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court today charged with murder.  They spoke only to confirm their names, addresses and dates of birth.
Prosecutors say Matthew Rodwell, pictured, was murdered by a father and son. (SWNS)

He was pronounced dead at the scene and a post-mortem examination revealed that he died of strangulation, the court heard.

Police arrived at the house at about 8.05pm and arrested Wayne, but Riley fled the scene in handcuffs and was caught a few hours later at another address.

The court heard Mrs Peckham moved in with Rodwell after ending her "turbulent" relationship with Wayne, the father of her three children, who was "rough, volatile and controlling" towards her.

Wayne Peckham, from Hilgay, is charged with murdering Rodwell and assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Mrs Peckham.

He has also denied 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 4 December 2021.

Riley, also from Hilgay, denies assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to the same incident on 4 December 2021.

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.