Louise Smith murder trial: Shane Mays of Leigh Park pleads guilty to manslaughter at Winchester Crown Court

A MAN has admitted killing 16-year-old Louise Smith ahead of a murder trial starting today.

Monday, 16th November 2020, 11:24 am
Updated Monday, 16th November 2020, 12:21 pm

Shane Mays, 30, of Somborne Drive, Leigh Park, is accused of murdering the teenager who went missing in May this year.

He pleaded guilty to manslaughter this morning at Winchester Crown Court ahead of his murder trial.

Mays denies murder. Prosecutor James Newton-Price QC said the plea was not acceptable and a trial will still take place.

Police at the scene of Havant Thicket where the body of Louise Smith was found. Picture: Simon Czapp/Solent News & Photo Agency

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Louise vanished on VE Day, May 8, this year. Her body was found on May 21 at Havant Thicket.

Mrs Justice Juliet May told a jury panel, who are due to be sworn in tomorrow ahead of the trial opening, that the ‘continuation of trials during difficult times is particularly important,’ a reference to the Covid pandemic.

Hampshire Fire investigation search dog and handler assist police with their investigation at the scene of Havant Thicket where the body of Louise Smith was found. Picture: Simon Czapp/Solent News & Photo Agency

The senior judge told them the trial could last up until December 11.

For the latest on this trial day by day see our live blog, follow our reporter Ben Fishwick on Twitter, and join our Portsmouth News - Breaking News and Incidents group on Facebook.

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