Louise Smith trial: Prosecutor says evidence paints 'clear and compelling case of murder' by Shane Mays

JURORS have been told evidence in the Louise Smith murder trial points to ‘clear and compelling case of murder’ carried out by her aunt’s husband Shane Mays.

By Ben Fishwick
Monday, 7th December 2020, 4:54 pm
Updated Monday, 7th December 2020, 5:17 pm

Prosecutor James Newton-Price QC said the attack on 16-year-old Louise at Havant Thicket on May 8 was beyond that of manslaughter.

Both he and Andrew Langdon QC, for 30-year-old Mays, gave their closing speeches to the 12-strong jury at Winchester Crown Court.

Earlier the judge, Mrs Justice Juliet May, told jurors they must set aside any emotion in reaching a verdict ‘dispassionately and fairly’ on the evidence heard.

Fire investigation search dog and handlers 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

Addressing the socially-distant jury, Mr Newton-Price said ‘despite his plea’ of guilty to manslaughter, Mays ‘even now cannot actually bring himself to admit that he killed her’.

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He said: ‘This is a man who cannot face up to what he has done. How many times do you remember he said he didn’t kill her when he gave evidence (on Friday)?

‘We say this attack goes beyond manslaughter and well beyond. This, we submit, is a clear and compelling case of murder.’

Images released of Louise Smith during the trial of Shane Mays who is accused of her murder at Winchester Crown Court

Mays denies murder. Louise’s body was found in Havant Thicket, north of the Mays’ flat she was living in with his wife Chazlynn in Ringwood House, Somborne Drive in Leigh Park.

He admitted repeatedly punching Louise, and said he lost his temper after she hit him with a stick.

The prosecutor added: ‘He deliberately took Louise to that place, he chose that clearing in that woods. He could have stopped after the first punch. He did not.

‘He carried on. He may well have done much more and even worse. He chose to abandon her in the woods and chose, really, to afford her no mercy.’

In the afternoon Mr Langdon said that ‘what he tells you he did is not in any sense forgivable’.

But he said jurors should reject the prosecution case that Mays lured Louise to Havant Thicket with cannabis.

Mr Langdon said: ‘Can you ladies and gentlemen, knowing everything you know about him, exclude the possibility from your minds that he wasn’t just angry but that he lost his temper so completely with such ferocity with such appalling consequences without at any point thinking about what he was doing? And what he intended by it?’

He said the case had been ‘harrowing’ for all and added: ‘Louise was completely blameless. The blame for her death rests with him (Mays). But please, ladies and gentlemen, don’t convict him of murder unless the evidence, and only the evidence, drives you there.’

Mrs Justice May is due to sum up the facts from 11am on Tuesday before sending the jury out to consider its verdict.


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