A 'DANGEROUS' man was found guilty of the 'cold and brutal' murder of his elderly great uncle in the disabled pensioner's bungalow.

Adam Mason faces an inevitable life sentence after he was found guilty of the murder of 80-year-old Desmond Wooding in his Droitwich home following a three week trial at Worcester Crown Court.

Angry scenes erupted at court when Adam Mason, 33, of Plough Lane, Tibberton, was convicted of murder by majority decision (10 to 2) of the jury this afternoon.

His uncle, Mark Mason, 55, also of Plough Lane, Tibberton, was also found guilty by majority decision (10 to 2) of assisting an offender after he drove Adam Mason from Vines Lane, Droitwich, after the murder on June 23 last year.

Before the verdicts were announced Judge Robert Juckes QC had appealed for calm in the public gallery while security guards arrived to help maintain order.

Cries, shrieks, shouts and swearing erupted from the public gallery and later sobbing could be heard as the jury returned guilty verdicts after 10 hours and 48 minutes of deliberations taking place over three days.

The deadlocked jury had been given a majority direction early this afternoon after it became clear the panel of six men and six women was unlikely to reach unanimous verdicts. Flanked by custody officers, neither Adam Mason nor Mark Mason appeared to show any emotion in the dock as the guilty verdicts were announced by the female foreman shortly after 2.30pm.

The court had previously heard how Mr Wooding was stabbed 11 times in the lounge of his bungalow in Vines Lane. One of the wounds was 8cm deep, piercing Mr Wooding's heart and lungs. The motive for the murder was said by the prosecution to be the way Mr Wooding had treated his late wife, Maureen, when she had cancer. Maureen was the sister of Colin Mason, Adam Mason's grandfather. Colin Mason had laughed when he learned of Mr Wooding's death and said 'It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy', the prosecution case being that the Mason family 'hated him'.

Adam Mason, a former solider and groundsman, was identified on the CCTV at the Gardeners Arms pub and walking back and forth along Vines Lane with his dog, Savvy at around the time of the murder.

The prosecution case, led by Adrian Keeling QC, had been that Adam Mason had carried out the murder in a 20 minute period after he left the pub at 8.42pm.

No forensic evidence linking Mason to the killing was found in the bungalow. However, DNA that was '430,000 times more likely to belong to Mr Wooding than anyone else' was found on a dog lead seized by police.

Mason claimed he had not seen Mr Wooding for 16 years and had not even known he lived in Vines Lane until he had read press reports about the murder.

A knife, believed to be the murder weapon, was missing from Mr Wooding's cutlery drawer and has never been found. The polo shirt and trainers Adam Mason was seen wearing on the CCTV footage have also never been found, the inference drawn by the prosecution that he disposed of them in the wake of the murder.

A pair of jeans were found by police which Mason claimed were the ones he was seen wearing in the CCTV. Tests showed no forensic link on the jeans to the murder.

However, the police did not accept that these jeans were the same pair Adam Mason had been wearing on the day of the murder. The mobile phone Adam Mason used to call his uncle for a lift has also never been found, the defendant saying in interview that he may have left it on the plane when he flew out to Tenerife two days after the murder.

When he returned from the holiday Adam Mason was arrested on suspicion of the murder at Birmingham Airport. When told he was suspected of the murder of Mr Wooding he answered 'who?'

Judge Juckes thanked the jury and said: "For the offence of murder the sentence is automatically one of life imprisonment."

Adam Mason had been drinking in the Gardeners Arm, telling a jury in the witness box he had drunk 13 or 14 pints of Thatchers Haze cider and two or three double JDs and cokes that day.

Sentencing was adjourned until Wednesday, March 25. Both men were remanded in custody. Angry scenes continued in the foyer of the court with one man swearing and shouting: "It's all your fault!"

Speaking after the verdicts, Detective inspector Mark Walters of the West Mercia Police Major Investigation Unit said: "This was a cold and brutal crime for which Adam Mason has never shown any remorse.

"Sadly we may never know exactly what happened in the moments leading up to this horrific attack on an elderly and vulnerable man. However today’s verdict from the jury makes it clear that Adam Mason was the person responsible for inflicting the fatal wounds to Mr Wooding.

"Adam Mason is clearly a dangerous individual and his conviction today will ensure he faces the justice which the nature of the crime merits.

"Where most people in our communities would have immediately reported this shocking crime to the police, Mark Mason did everything he could to assist his nephew to cover his tracks and prevent him being detected.

"Our thoughts at this time are with the family and friends of Mr Wooding. I would particularly like to thank the local community in Vines Lane for their cooperation and assistance throughout the investigation.

"I hope this verdict will go some way to provide them with reassurance and help them come to terms with the death of Mr Wooding."

However, Adam Mason's father, Martin Jones, speaking outside court, said there was 'no evidence' and the whole case was 'a stitch-up'.

He added: "He's an innocent man. It's a farce. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is a miscarriage of justice. It was a massively weak case."

He denied there was any feud and said no DNA from either his son or his dog Savvy were found in Mr Wooding's bungalow.

Mr Jones denied any family feud with Mr Wooding and said his son did not match the description of 'a gaunt' man seen outside the pensioner's home, his son having been 17 stone at the time.

Mr Jones also said his son had not been picked out by this witness in a later identification procedure. He added: "It's not my boy and as for Mark he could not lie to save his life."