A CONVICTED murderer faces a life sentence next week for stabbing a disabled pensioner to death in his own home.

Adam Mason is scheduled to be sentenced at Worcester Crown Court this Wednesday for the murder of his great uncle, 80-year-old Desmond Wooding, in the lounge of the pensioner’s bungalow in Vines Lane, Droitwich. Stabbed 11 times, the motive for the murder was said to be a family feud after Mr Wooding treated his late wife Maureen badly at a time when she was battling cancer.

Maureen was the sister of Adam Mason’s grandfather, Colin Mason, who was said to have ‘laughed’ when he learned of Mr Wooding’s death, telling family: “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.”

Adam Mason’s uncle, 55-year-old Mark Mason, will also face a long sentence for assisting an offender after he drove his 33-year-old nephew away from Vines Lane in his Mercedes Sprinter truck on June 23 last year, the day of the murder.

However, the jury’s decision to convict remains a controversial one. The panel could not reach a unanimous verdict for either Adam Mason or his uncle after nearly 11 hours of deliberations. Instead, both men were convicted by a majority of 10 to 2.

At least two jurors either believed both men were not guilty of the offences or, at the very least, that there was not enough evidence to be ‘sure’ of their guilt, the standard of proof in all criminal cases.

Meanwhile, Adam Mason’s family, including his father, maintain he is innocent and was simply ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’, criticising in particular the lack of forensic evidence from the scene capable of linking him to the crime.

They also point to a description of a ‘gaunt’ man seen outside Mr Wooding’s door on the day of the murder as not matching the appearance of Adam Mason of Plough Lane, Tibberton, who weighed 17 stone at the time. The same witness also picked out a volunteer and not Adam Mason during an identity procedure.

CCTV places Adam Mason in Vines Lane and in Gardeners Arms, also in Vines Lane, with his dog Savvy on the day of the murder. DNA was found on the dog’s lead which was 430,000 times more likely to belong to Mr Wooding than anyone else. When asked about how the blood got there by police in interview Mason replied ‘no comment’. In the witness box Mason said the dog was on the lead but that he was not holding it in an attempt to account for how the blood was transferred. This remains at odds with his claim in interview that he was holding the lead and the dog was pulling him along.

The prosecution case was that Mason left the pub at 8.42pm and that the murder happened in the 20 minutes that followed.

Some of the case hinged on inferences drawn from evidence that was missing, the clear implication being that it had been disposed of by the defendant. What happened, for example, to the polo shirt, trainers and jeans Adam Mason was seen wearing on the CCTV footage in Vines Lane on the day of the murder? Mason also said he lost his phone, possibly on the outgoing flight to Tenerife, two days after the murder. Perhaps the most pertinent question of all is ‘what became of the murder weapon?’ A knife was missing from Mr Wooding’s drawer but police have so far not recovered the murder weapon.