Dad and son who killed ex’s new partner ‘like a pack of animals’ in jealous rage jailed for life

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Wayne and Riley Peckham were handed life sentences for the brutal attack

A man who murdered his estranged wife’s new partner with the help of his son has been jailed for life.

Wayne Peckham, 48, brutally attacked the new partner of his estranged wife with the help of his son Riley, 23, with repeated punches, kicks and stamps.

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The pair were described as acting “in jealous rage, like a pack of animals” and were last month found guilty of killing Matthew Rodwell in Downham Market, Norfolk, following a six-week trial. Mr Rodwell was in a relationship with Mr Peckham’s wife, Kerry Peckham, who is the mother of Riley.

The attack happened at the home of Mrs Peckham, in Bulrush Close, on 23 January last year after the father and son forced their way in, having moved CCTV cameras.

Wayne and Riley Peckham were handed life sentences for the brutal attack (Photo: Norfolk Constabulary)Wayne and Riley Peckham were handed life sentences for the brutal attack (Photo: Norfolk Constabulary)
Wayne and Riley Peckham were handed life sentences for the brutal attack (Photo: Norfolk Constabulary) | Norfolk Constabulary

Mr Rodwell hid upstairs while making a frantic 999 call to police in which he urges officers to hurry, before Riley can be heard shouting in the background “you are going to die”.

The 23-year-old and Mr Rodwell fought upstairs, while Mrs Peckham tried to restrain her husband downstairs. But Mr Rodwell ended up at the bottom of the stairs where the attack continued, and he was found seriously injured when police arrived. Paramedics were called to the scene but despite treatment, he was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

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Wayne and Riley were arrested on suspicion of murder two hours later at a relative’s address, having fled the scene in handcuffs.

During the investigation, officers examined CCTV footage from the scene and discovered that Wayne had visited the address earlier that day and had moved the doorbell camera, before returning later that night. Similarly, just before the attack, Riley went to the back of the house and moved a CCTV camera.

Matthew Rodwell had been in a relationship with Wayne’s wife and Riley’s mother (Photo: Norfolk Constabulary)Matthew Rodwell had been in a relationship with Wayne’s wife and Riley’s mother (Photo: Norfolk Constabulary)
Matthew Rodwell had been in a relationship with Wayne’s wife and Riley’s mother (Photo: Norfolk Constabulary) | Norfolk Constabulary

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Burgess, from the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, said the evidence demonstrated an element of pre-planning and said detectives discovered Mr Rodwell had been threatened several times before by the pair during his relationship with Mrs Peckham.

He said: “It’s clear from watching the CCTV clips that both knew exactly what they are doing and why. They clearly intended to cause Matthew harm with the level of violence used. We also know Matthew had been threatened by them several times during his relationship.”

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The two men, of Manby Close, Hilgay, denied murder but were both found guilty following an earlier trial at Norwich Crown Court, Norfolk Police said. At the sentencing on Tuesday (18 April), His Honour Judge Bate described Mr Peckham as “obsessively jealous” and said he had committed a “brutal and sustained” attack.

Detective Burgess added: “The jury’s verdict was unanimous and the right outcome, especially for Matthew’s family who have shown exceptional bravery and patience during this process. Some of the evidence, particularly the 999 call, was difficult for many people to hear, but especially for Matthew’s loved ones.

“Wayne and Riley acted in jealous rage, like a pack of animals, and the sentences passed today mean they can longer be a danger to anyone else. As ever, our thoughts remain with Matthew’s family and friends, and we will continue to support them for as long as they need.”

Both men were handed life sentences which amount to more than 40 years in total. Wayne Peckham must serve a minimum of 24 years before he can be considered for release, while Riley Peckham must serve at least 18 years before he can be considered for parole.

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The pair were also convicted over an earlier assault against another man which happened in December 2021 in Downham Market. Wayne was convicted of two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, but was found not guilty of assault by beating. He was also convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against his ex-partner on January 23 last year. Riley was also convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to the same December incident.

Wayne was sentenced to three years and three months combined for the three assaults to be served concurrently with his life sentence, while Riley received 12 months for the assault in December, also to be served concurrently with his life sentence.

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