The man accused of murdering 16-year-old Louise Smith has denied luring her to a secluded woodland to have sex, claiming she led him there to ‘bond with him’ before he ‘lost control’.

Shane Mays, 30, is on trial for the ‘sexually motivated’ murder of Louise, whose ‘defiled and burned’ body was found in the Hampshire woodland in May. 

She had suffered multiple blows to her head causing her facial bone structure to collapse.

Mays told jurors they had a ‘father and daughter’ type of relationship and denied killing the teen to ‘silence her’ after an alleged sexual assault.

He also denied violating her body after she died because he was worried he may have made her pregnant.



Mays, whose wife is Louise’s aunt, admitted she ‘wound me up’ and said he then punched Louise in the head ‘so many times I lost count’ before walking away leaving her moaning on the floor.

The court heard 17-stone Mays beat the petite student so hard in the face he heard her bones ‘crack’.

He said Louise had ‘caused lots of trouble’ when she ran away from home the day before and said ‘he just couldn’t stop’ punching her.

Under cross examination today, Mays, who admits manslaughter but denies murdering Louise, claimed it was her who asked him to join her in the wood because she wanted to ‘open up’.

Mays told the court he was ‘happy’ about this, adding: ‘She wanted to bond. She wanted me to be on my own so she could bond with me because she never gets the chance to.’

He claimed Louise had ‘led’ him to the spot where her burnt body was later discovered so they could talk.

Mays said: ‘I was following her. She was taking the lead. She was telling us what way to go.’

Winchester Crown Court heard Louise vanished in Havant, Hampshire, at 12.49pm on May 8, after Mays ‘lured’ her one and a half miles away to the scene at Havant Thicket.

Aspiring veterinary nurse Louise, who only started living with Mays and his wife a few weeks earlier, was found with her skull smashed on May 21.

Describing the argument he had with Louise in the wood, Mays said: ‘She wound me up and [she had] the night before as well. It got to me.

He claimed Louise hit him ‘with a big stick in the ribs’ and it ‘hurt a lot’ so he started beating her and was unable to stop.

He said: ‘I snatched the stick off her and I punched her. In the face. I just carried on. I lost control.’

The court heard ‘he felt his anger rising’ and Mays said Louise never attempted to fight back or scream.

Prosecutor James Newton-Price QC said Mays ‘lured’ the 5ft teenager to the wood to sexually assault her.



He said ‘Did you try to touch her sexually in that secluded clearing?

‘Did you kill her because she was screaming and fighting back, screaming so you had to silence her?

‘Did you silence her so she couldn’t tell anyone about what you did?

‘You have pounded her head so hard you have literally smashed her face in, do you understand that?’

Mays denied he had any sexual interest in the teenager and also denied killing her saying that when he left she was still ‘moaning’ on the floor.

Mr Newton-Price asked him if, as he walked away from the clearing, he felt bad about what he had done.

Mays replied: ‘No. I wasn’t in the right mind. I was still angry.’

He also told the court ‘he had a problem remembering things’ and that was why he had lied to police and family members.

The trial continues.

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