Louise Smith trial: Live updates as Shane Mays is jailed for at least 25 years for murdering Havant teenager

Shane Mays has been sentenced to at least 25 years in jail for killing teenager Louise Smith.

Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 12:39 pm

The 30-year-old was found guilty of murdering the Havant teenager following a four-week trial – you can read our latest update on the sentencing here.

Before his trial Mays, 30, of Somborne Drive, Leigh Park, admitted the manslaughter of the 16-year-old, whose body was found in Havant Thicket on May 21.

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Louise Smith trial: Shane Mays convicted of brutally murdering teenager

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Louise Smith

To keep up to date with the sentencing follow the latest updates at the bottom of this page.

Louise, from Leigh Park, had been missing for 13 days after last being seen in Somborne Drive, Leigh Park, at around midday on May 8.

The trial took place at Winchester Crown Court.

The trial of Shane Mays, who is accused of murdering Louise Smith (left) is due to begin today at Winchester Crown Court (right)

Recap updates from Louise Smith murder trial

Last updated: Tuesday, 17 November, 2020, 11:56

  • Shane Mays convicted of murdering Louise Smith
  • Mays, of Somborne Drive, Leigh Park, pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies the 16-year-old’s murder
  • Mays was jailed for life with at least 25 years in jail

Welcome to our live blog

Good morning and welcome to our live blog.

We will have the latest updates as Shane Mays’ murder trial is due to begin at Winchester Crown Court.

Here’s what we know so far

16-year-old Louise Smith, from Havant, went missing on May 8 and was last seen alive in Somborne Drive, Leigh Park, at midday.

Nearly two weeks, on May 21, later her body was found in Havant Thicket following a huge search and rescue operation.

Shane Mays, 30, of Havant, was arrested and has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Louise Smith. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

Where is the trial being held?

The trial is being held at Winchester Crown Court and will be heard before Mrs Justice May

Shane Mays has pleaded guilty to manslaughter

Shane Mays has admitted killing 16-year-old Louise Smith ahead of the murder trial starting today.

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

Our chief reporter Ben Fishwick is covering the trial

Trial due to begin on Tuesday

Following the earlier plea the trial is now set to begin on Tuesday.

We will bring you the latest updates once proceedings start.

Today’s court proceedings are set to commence at 10.30am - though the court clerk says it may be delayed by a few minutes.

The members of the jury were selected by the court yesterday - this morning 12 will be sworn in plus two extra members, then the trial will get underway.

Who’s who in the trial

The trial of Shane Mays is expected to last around four weeks, according to the judge, Mrs Justice Juliet May.

Prosecuting is James Newton-Price QC, with Andrew Langdon QC defending Mays.

Mays, 30 of Somborne Drive, Leigh Park, denies the murder of Louise Smith, but has admitted manslaughter.

James Newton-Price QC is the first to speak in the trial, and will be laying out evidence for the jury.

Louise was living with Mays, says prosecutor

Prosecutor James Newton-Price says that after falling out with her mother in April, Louise Smith went to live with her aunt, Chazlynn (CJ) Mays, and Shane Mays, the defendant. They lived together in a one bedroom flat at Ringwood House, in Leigh Park.

Mays told police Louise had gone to Emsworth

Police had concerns about the account given by Mays, says the prosecution. In his interview he told police he had dropped Louise off at a recreation ground in Emsworth when she went missing. ‘This was a lie’ says Newton-Price. 'This lie was then repeated to his wife, Louise’s girlfriend and to the police, in great detail.' 

Murder was ‘cruel and brutal’ says prosecution

Newton-Price says Mays’ killing of Louise was ‘cruel and brutal’, adding that her body was ‘unrecognisable’ when found in Havant Thicket.

‘There are grounds to belive that part of the motivation for her murder was sexual,’ he said.

Mays ‘threw away Louise’s phone’ claims prosecution

According to Newton-Price, Mays threw Louise’s phone away after taking her to Havant Thicket.

He told the court: 'He threw her mobile phone into the woods as he left the scene of the killing.

‘He now admits killing Louise, or contributing to her death in some way, but denies murder.’

Prosecution admits a ‘lack’ of CCTV

The jury has been told that between Mays’ home in Somborne Drive and Havant Thicket, there are very few CCTV cameras. However, a camera did capture the defendant leaving the thicket via Swanmore Road, on the day Louise went missing.

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