Louise Smith trial: Shane Mays convicted of brutally murdering teenager

BRUTAL Shane Mays has been convicted of murdering 16-year-old Louise Smith in a ‘perverted sexual lust’ after luring her to a secluded clearing.

By Ben Fishwick
Tuesday, 8th December 2020, 2:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th December 2020, 3:02 pm

Merciless Mays, 30, preyed on Louise, luring her away with the promise of cannabis before dealing countless heavy blows to her face in a ‘blind rage’ at his ‘regular play area’ in Havant Thicket on May 8.

After getting her alone he attempted to sexually assault her, prosecutors suggest, before striking out at the ‘utterly defenceless’ teenager, inflicting ‘catastrophic’ injuries to her head.

As concern grew and Louise was reported missing, Mays claimed to be repeatedly searching for her but secretly crept back and burned her body, with ‘breathtaking brutality’ prosecutors said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Louise Smith, 16, from Havant, was reported missing on May 8, 2020.

Immediately after carrying out the murder Mays walked to his mother’s home in Stratfield Gardens where she saw him ‘hot and sweaty’. He claimed he had taken Louise to Emsworth skatepark.

It was the first of many and repeated lies Mays told to family, friends and eventually jurors in his trial. He blamed ‘false memories’ for his early lies.

Today jurors who saw through them all spent two hours and 21 minutes before convicting lying Mays of murder.

Standing in the dock he remained emotionless as the verdict was read out at Winchester Crown Court.

CCTV showing Shane Mays in Premier Store on May 8 before he killed Louise Smith

Read More

Read More
Live coverage of the trial of Shane Mays as it happens

Andrew Langdon QC, defending Mays who had already admitted manslaughter, yesterday said the attack was ‘savage’ and ‘not in any sense forgivable’ but urged jurors only to convict him if they were sure it was murder.

Mays will be sentenced tomorrow morning.

Shortly after the murder he went to Iceland and bought four frozen pizzas, including one he told jurors was for Louise.

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

He then played a ‘cruel trick’ on his wife Chazlynn Mays, known as CJ, who reported the teenager missing to police at 6.32pm.

Drones, dogs and 306 police officers and search team members were involved in the hunt for Louise, whose body was found 13 days later burned and defiled.

Mays had ‘rather too conveniently,’ prosecutor James Newton-Price QC said, claimed he instantly lost the memory of repeatedly punching Louise in the face with both hands at the clearing.

Mays said his memory of attacking her only returned in June, while on remand in Bristol jail having been charged with murder.

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

The 6ft brute claimed he launched the attack after ‘losing control of his temper’ when Louise hit him with a stick over an argument about cannabis.

Vulnerable teenager Louise, described as ‘fragile and impressionable’, was staying with Mays and CJ at their home in Ringwood House, Somborne Drive in Leigh Park since April 25.

Snapchat video shows the unemployed defendant, who has an IQ of 63 and played nine hours of Xbox a day, tickling his teenage ward’s feet at the flat after she moved in.

Both Louise and Mays thought the other was flirting, the teen’s boyfriend Bradley Kercher, 18, told police.

Banned from smoking cannabis, Louise branded Mays and his wife CJ as ‘vile’ and tried to flee on May 7, ‘hysterical’ on the phone to a family friend.

But later that day she returned to their flat, with Mays spending £30 on rum and peach Schnapps out of his £50 fortnightly budget so he could ply her with alcohol into the early hours.

During the night Louise messaged a mental health helpline and told a friend she wanted to ‘end everything’.

By morning she posted a selfie on Snapchat saying she had the ‘worst hangover going’ at 11.52am.

Less than an hour later at 12.49pm, with Mays having collected what the prosecution suggests was cannabis a few minutes beforehand, a final message is sent from her phone.

Together Mays and Louise, a Havant and South Downs College student, walked for an hour to the clearing in Havant Thicket, a journey not caught on CCTV.

Mr Newton-Price said: ‘What he had promised her, to give her there, he wouldn’t say and as I say, we may never know. But why did he want to get her there?

‘The prosecution do not have to prove a motive for any crime but the background, of the flirting, and the circumstances leading a teenage girl into a secluded remote area far from anywhere, where no-one can hear her, suggests, does it not, a sexual interest.’

Mays told jurors they talked about plans for her bedroom if he and CJ moved home, a shopping trip and about her boyfriend.

For the latest on the 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.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news online - as well as our new Puzzles section.