Twisted uncle found guilty of murdering his niece Louise Smith, 16, before burning body

Twisted uncle found guilty of murdering his niece Louise Smith, 16, before burning body

Shane Mays smashed his teenage niece's skull in with a log before returning to "destroy" her body in what a jury at Winchester Crown Court heard was a sexually motivated murder.



A monster uncle has been found guilty of “cruelly and brutally” murdering his niece Louise Smith in a "terrible way."





On the opening day of his trial, Shane Mays, 30, admitted manslaughter after originally telling police he knew nothing about her death.



Shane Mays, 30, admitted manslaughter after originally telling police he knew nothing about her death.


Jurors at Winchester Crown Court heard distressing evidence throughout the trial about the tragic death of 16-year-old Louise Smith who had such devastating injuries her jawbone was "completely detached from her skull."

Mays was convicted of murdering Louise in an "extreme" way that subjected the teen to "excruciating, overwhelming pain" in what has been described as a sexually motivated attack.

He was found to have made a "determined attempt" to destroy the teenager’s body by "building a bonfire" on top of her.




family friend said Louise was 'charming' and 'lovely'

James Newton-Price QC alleged Mays had killed her to "silence her" and violated her body because he was worried he may have made her pregnant.



Mr Newton-Pierce said Mays and his wife CJ - Louise's aunt - had only started caring for the teen just two weeks before she died.

The relationship quickly soured as she "had enough of being there" following arguments over her boyfriend and smoking cannabis.

Compelling CCTV footage showed Mays and Louise at the Premier Store near her aunt's Havant home around 8pm on May 7.


Compelling CCTV footage showed Mays and Louise at the Premier Store near her aunt's Havant home around 8pm on May 7 but by 12.49pm on May 8, Louise had vanished.

Mr Newton-Pierce told jurors that on May 8, Mays led the "vulnerable and impressionable" teen to woodland site Havant Thicket, Hants, and murdered her.

Mays claimed the pair lost his temper following an argument over cannabis and punched Louise until her bones "cracked" before leaving her "moaning", but alive, on the ground after the 5ft tall teen hit him with a "big stick."

He said Mays ever-changing story was due to his inability to "face up" to the extent of what he had done and described it as a "clear and compelling case of murder'."



Louise's remains were found in Havant Thicket, Hants.



Police didn't discover Louise's body until two weeks later, and her remains were "severely decomposed" with her jaw bone completely detached from her body.

Her remains are also understood to have been "burned" and "violated" in what police describe as an example of "breathtaking brutality."

It took jurors just two hours and fifteen minutes to unanimously find Mays guilty of Louise's murder and the monster uncle showed no emotion as the verdict was read out.



The monster uncle showed no emotion as the verdict was read out.

In his closing remarks, Mr Newton-Price QC previously said: "This is a cruel and brutal murder.



"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 has been subjected to extreme violence and violation, including repeated and heavy blows to her head.

"Her body had also been penetrated in a terrible way... there are grounds to believe that part of the motivation for her murder was sexual."



After the jury gave its verdict of murder, Justice May said: "We ask a lot in cases like this of our jurors...

"I want to thank each one of you for the attention you have given to this case."
Twisted uncle found guilty of murdering his niece Louise Smith, 16, before burning body
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