This is the moment a ‘predator’ uncle left woodland where he had just bludgeoned his 16-year-old niece to death before allegedly burning her body in a sexually motivated murder.
Shane Mays, 30, was seen on CCTV leaving Havant Thicket where Louise Smith’s body was found ‘defiled and burned’.
Mays has admitted the manslaughter of the teenager who had been living with him and his wife, Chazlynn Jayne Mays, known as CJ Mays, who was the cousin of Louise’s mother as well as the victim’s aunt. But he denies trying to kill her or interfering with her body.
Shane Mays, 30, admitted one charge of manslaughter but denies murdering the teenager
Louise Smith, 16, went missing on VE Day in May, sparking a huge two-week search for her
Louise vanished at around 12.49pm on May 8 after being ‘lured’ to the woods by Mays, Winchester Crown Court heard.
Mays was seen on the footage at around 3.11pm making his way to his mother’s house as Louise’s body lay ‘terribly defiled’ in the woods, jurors heard.
After he got to Karen Rawlinson’s home, drunk a Coke while complaining of stomach pains.
The court has heard that Louise suffered multiple blows to her head causing the bone structure of her face to collapse.
Her body, which was set alight, was also ‘defiled’ with a long stick pushed inside her.
James Newton-Price QC, prosecuting, told the court that DNA found on the stick was 38 million times more likely to have come from the defendant than someone else.
He added that Louise’s blood was also found on Mays’ trainers.
Mr Newton-Price said: ‘You may reasonably conclude that the person who burned and defiled her body and who held and shoved that stick inside Louise’s body was the defendant Shane Mays.’
He continued: ‘Her killer lured or persuaded her to walk to a remote location where he attacked her.
‘We say you can conclude that this was an attack of unimaginable cruelty towards a vulnerable 16-year-old girl.
‘The shattering of the bones and the structure of her face including the complete detachment of her jaw bone indicated multiple blows to her head.’
Louise had been living with Shane Mays (right) and his wife, Chazlynn Jayne Mays (left), 29
Mays seen in the CCTV footage emerging from Havant Thicket – where Louise’s body was found
Mr Newton Price said Louise had been unhappy and was ‘drinking heavily’ on the night before she disappeared.
‘Louise was just 16, she was anxious, needy, fragile and vulnerable, vulnerable to the attentions of a predatory man who was apparently flirting with her and living in the same small flat,’ he said.
‘Shane Mays was the last person to see her alive, he was alone with her that afternoon.’
Andrew Langdon QC, representing Mays, said that the defendant admitted causing Louise’s death but he had ‘attacked’ her after ‘losing control of his temper’.
He told the jury: ‘By his plea of manslaughter, Mr Mays accepts that on Friday 8th of May, having walked with Louise to Havant Thicket he attacked her.
‘His case is he did so because of an argument which resulted in his losing control of his temper.
‘He repeatedly punched her and he accepts that his attack on her would have caused or contributed to her subsequent death.
‘But he did not intend to kill her or to cause her really serious injury, he didn’t put the stick inside her and he didn’t set fire to her.’
Police officers at the area of woodland in Havant, Hampshire, during their investigation in May
Louise’s boyfriend Bradley Kercher said in a police interview shown to the court that she had told him that Mays had ‘flirted’ towards her.
The 18-year-old said: ‘The way she talked about Shane was like he was flirting with her, he would put his arm round her and he would tickle her and pin her down, things like that.
‘Shane basically said he feels Louise is flirting with him, they are both saying that either is flirting with each other but both are denying it.’
Mays denies murder and the trial continues.