Man found guilty of ‘breathtakingly brutal’ murder of Louise Smith, 16, whose body was discovered in woodland

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  • December 8, 2020
  • Comments Off on Man found guilty of ‘breathtakingly brutal’ murder of Louise Smith, 16, whose body was discovered in woodland

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man who lured teenager Louise Smith to woodland, where he killed her with “breath-taking brutality”, has been found guilty of murder.

“Predatory” Shane Mays, 30, walked with the 16-year-old to the secluded spot in Havant Thicket on VE Day, where he repeatedly punched her in the face, causing her fatal injuries.

Mays, who is married to her aunt, then defiled her with a stick before burning the body, which was found 13 days later following a major police search.

James Newton-Price QC, prosecuting, told the trial at Winchester Crown Court: “A determined attempt had been made to destroy her body, which was so badly burned and damaged by fire as to be unrecognisable.

“Her body had been subjected to extreme violence and violation, including repeated and heavy blows to her head.”

victim’s aunt – at the end of April, after she had “quarrelled” with her mother.

But arguments broke out between the three and Louise complained to her boyfriend, Bradley Kercher, that Mays would “flirt” with her and pin her down, and the jury was shown a Snapchat video of him tickling her feet.

Mr Newton-Price said: “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.”

Louise Smith: Murder probe into 16-year-old’s death

He suggested that Mays had persuaded Louise to walk with him to the woodland by offering her cannabis, with the aim of sexually assaulting her.

Mays told the court that he punched Louise “many” times to the face and had heard her bones “crack”, after losing his temper.

He said: “I just carried on, I lost control of myself. She made a moaning noise, that’s when I stopped.”

The court heard that a clinical review of the defendant found he had an “extremely low” IQ of 63, putting him in the bottom one percentile of people.

He told the court that he had not worked for five years and spent nine hours a day playing video games.

Following her death, Louise, who was training to be a veterinary nurse, was described by her family as a “smiley, generous person”.

The judge, Mrs Justice May, adjourned the case for sentencing on Wednesday.

Reacting to the verdict, Det Insp Adam Edwards said: “It’s brilliant to get justice for Louise’s family and friends. They lost her in the most tragic of circumstances.

“The defilement of her body was shocking. It’s something all officers at the scene will have to live with for the rest of their lives.”