Louise Smith’s killer today admitted he punched her with such force he ‘heard her bones crack’, but said he ‘forgot’ killing her.
Shane Mays is on trial for the ‘sexually motivated’ murder of 16-year-old Louise, whose badly burnt body was found in woodland in Hampshire in May.
Mays, who is 6ft tall and weighs 17 stone, told Winchester Crown Court today how he punched 5ft-tall Louise so many times in the face he heard her bones ‘crack’ before leaving her ‘moaning’ on the ground.
He said he lashed out after Louise hit him with a ‘big stick’ when he warned her she would ‘end up like her mum’.
But the 30-year-old insisted he did not kill the Louise, and claims he lied to police because ‘he convinced’ himself he had taken her to meet her friend.
It was only when he was sent to prison in Bristol after being charged with murder that he ‘remembered’ attacking the teenager, he told jurors today.
Shane Mays (pictured with wife CJ on their wedding day), is on trial for the ‘sexually motivated’ murder of his niece, Louise Smith
Shane Mays, 30, is accused of the ‘brutal’ murder of the 16-year-old whose fire-damaged body was found in thick woodland two weeks after she went missing
Giving evidence in his trial for the first time, Mays told the court it was Louise’s idea to go into woods at Havant Thicket together and said they had been getting on ‘very well’ before the mood ‘changed’.
The 30-year-old, whose wife is Louise’s aunt, admitted he would ‘sometimes get angry’ with the teenager, whose ‘terribly’ defiled body was found burned in nearby woodland, when she refused to do chores and smoked cannabis in the house.
Mays admitted he had a ‘short fuse’, was ‘easy to make cross’ and confessed he could get violent when his anger ‘builds up’.
He said: ‘[Louise] brought up drugs. She wanted to do weed again and I said it wasn’t a good idea because she suffers with depression.
Louise vanished in Hampshire in May before her body was found two weeks later
‘She was getting all aggressive about it and started shouting, raising her voice. She said how she wanted to do the weed again and I said, ‘You don’t want to end up like your mum.’
He added: ‘She picked up this big stick and hit me on the side with it. I grabbed the branch threw it against the floor and I punched her… In the face.
‘I was angry with what she did the night before and just then. The first punch she was standing. Second punch she went down.’
When asked why he continued beating Louise while she lay defenceless on the floor, he said: ‘Because I was angry and lost control of myself. I’m not sure [if I broke her nose], I heard cracks but I’m not sure.’
He told the court he then left the clearing as the bloodied teenager lay on the ground and only looked back when he heard her ‘moaning’.
Mays walked back to his mothers house to pick up a HDMI cable and ‘didn’t think about where Louise was’.
He claimed his wife CJ knew nothing about the vicious attack and he had lied to his family and police because he ‘convinced himself’ he hadn’t hurt her.
He added: ‘I convinced myself it wasn’t true. [I only remembered] When I went to prison in Bristol.’
Mays told jurors today that he was dependent upon his wife as he had been unemployed for five years and lived off £50 a fortnight which she gave him.
He said he usually only left the house to go to the shops and played Xbox for nine hours a day.
May also told jurors how Louise (left) had ‘wanted him to be her dad’ but admitted, ‘it all went wrong’ after the 16-year-old moved in with him. He also said a video showing him tickling his niece’s feet (right), was ‘playful.’
Yellow tape representing a fallen tree trunk and an orange flag marking the spot in woodland at Havant Thicket in Hampshire, where police found the body of Louise Smith
The court heard Louise had previously been living with Mays and his wife at a different address in nearby Portsmouth, but her mother had ‘put a stop to it’.
May also told jurors how Louise had ‘wanted him to be her dad’ but admitted, ‘it all went wrong’ after the 16-year-old moved in with him.
He also said a video showing him tickling his niece’s feet was ‘playful.’
The court has heard Louise vanished on May 8, having been ‘lured’ to the woodland by Mays.
Police officers at the area of woodland in Havant, Hampshire, during their investigation in May
The aspiring veterinary nurse – who had only started living with Mays and his wife CJ a few weeks earlier – was found with her skull smashed on May 21.
The court has heard horrific details about how Louise’s body was ‘terribly’ defiled, and burned in what has been described as a ‘cruel and brutal’ murder.
A forensic scientist previously explained that blood stains found on Mays’ Adidas trainers were ‘one billion times’ more likely to have come from Louise Smith than someone else.
Mays denies murder but admits manslaughter. He also claims he did not defile or set fire to Louise.
The trial continues.