An uncle who admitted killing his 16-year-old niece by punching her to death blamed it on a loss of control, claiming ‘I lost my temper’.
Shane Mays, 30, is on trial for the murder of vulnerable teenager Louise Smith, 16, but has confessed to her manslaughter.
Mays has already been called a ‘predator’ and accused of having a ‘sexual motivation’ to kill the teenager, who had been living with him and his wife.
Yesterday it was claimed he had previously ‘flirted’ with Louise by putting his arm around her and ‘pinning her down’.
On Tuesday jurors were shown a Snapchat video of Mays looking through Louise’s knees and tickling her on April 26, and were told he had ‘playfights’ with her.
Today Winchester Crown Court heard his manslaughter plea meant he accepted he had walked with her to Havant Thicket, East Hampshire, on May 8.
Jurors were also told how Louise’s boyfriend hugged her and said ‘I love you’ the day before she died – the last time he saw her.
Shane Mays, 29, admitted one charge of manslaughter but denies murdering the teenager
Louise Smith, 16, went missing on VE Day in May, sparking a huge two-week search for her
The court heard QC Andrew Langdon explain what Mays said had happened on the day.
The lawyer said: ‘He attacked her. His case is that he did so because of an argument which resulted in him losing control of his temper.
‘He repeatedly punched her and he accepts that his attack on her would have caused or contributed to her subsequent death.
‘He did not intend to kill her or to cause her really serious injury. He did not set fire to her.
‘He accepts that he told others that he had walked Louise to Emsworth Park when, in fact, he had not done so.
‘He accepts that CCTV sightings correctly identify him. He accepts the interpretation of the movement of Louise’s phone.
‘He accepts that DNA matching his was found there. He accepts that Louise’s blood was found on his left trainer and his fingerprint on her phone.’
Louise went missing on VE day and was not found until the morning of May 21, almost two weeks later.
Prosecutors said the girl’s blood had been found on Mays’ trainers and his fingerprints had been found on an item nearby.
DNA matching Mays’ wife and Louise’s aunt, Chazlynn Mays – known as CJ – was also found but the prosecution did not suggest she had played any part in the murder.
Louise had been living with Shane Mays (right) and his wife, Chazlynn Jayne Mays (left), 29
Police officers at the area of woodland in Havant, Hampshire, during their investigation in May
James Newton-Price QC, prosecuting, said: ‘It is clear, we say, that her killer lured her or persuaded her to walk to a remote location where he attacked her.
‘We say that you can conclude that this was an attack of unimaginable cruelty towards a vulnerable 16-year-old girl.
‘The shattering of the bones and the structure of her face, including the complete detachment of her jaw bone, indicates multiple blows to her head.
‘There is background evidence that Louise Smith was unhappy in the care of Shane Mays and his wife and that she, an adolescent, was drinking heavily in their flat on the night before she disappeared.’
Mr Newton-Price told how forensic scientists believed it was one billion times more likely than not that DNA found in blood spots on Mays’ trainers belonged to Louise.
Investigators found 11 sticks around Louise’s body, the court heard, placed around her as fuel to the fire which had been set on her body.
One of them had DNA on it with ‘possible contributors’ identified as Louise, Shane and CJ.
The likelihood of Shane having been a contributor was considered 38million times more likely than not and the likelihood of his wife having been a contributor was said to be 150 times more likely than not.
Mr Newton-Price told the jury: ‘For the avoidance of doubt, we are not suggesting and I do not think it will be suggested that Chazlynn Mays touched that stick.’
He added: ‘That DNA could have transferred to it by way of her husband Shane.
‘There is no evidence to place Chazlynn Mays outside Ringwood House or anywhere near Havant Thicket on May 8.
‘We say you may reasonably conclude that the person who burned and defiled her body was the defendant Shane Mays.’
Police re-arrested Mays six days after they found Louise’s body and put the findings of his DNA on Stick One and Louise’s blood on his trainers to him, the court was told.
In a prepared statement to the police, Mays had said: ‘I have been arrested on suspicion of murder and I strongly deny this allegation.
‘I have had no involvement at all in the murder of Louise Smith. That is all I wish to say at present.’
The victim’s boyfriend Bradley Kercher, then 17, told police he gave her a kiss goodbye the day before she died.
Mr Kercher, now 18, said: ‘On the Thursday [the day before she disappeared], I said goodbye to her, told her I love her and gave her a kiss and a cuddle.
‘That was the last time I saw her.’ Mr Kercher, who was in an on and off relationship with Louise for a year, said she and Mays ‘flirted’.
He said: ‘The way Louise was speaking about Shane, it was like he was flirting with her. He put his arm around her, tickled her, pinned her down, things like that.
‘Shane said he feels like Louise was flirting with him. They were both saying that both were flirting with one another but both denying it. I brushed it aside.’
He added: ‘Louise text me things like ”me and and Shane were walking to the shop and he put his arm around me” and ”we were walking to the shop and he pushed me in the bush”.
‘The way she was saying it was like they were flirting.’
Mr Kercher said he knew something was wrong when Louise failed to answer her phone – which had a Beauty and the Beast case – because she was ‘always on it’.
Mr Kercher and CJ had been told by Mays that he walked her three miles to a skate part in Emsworth, but Mr Kercher found it strange because ‘it was too far’.
He said when Mays walked through the door he complained ‘Lou takes the piss because she just made me walk her to Emsworth.
He continued: ‘CJ phoned her and her phone just kept ringing, ringing and ringing.
‘She kept trying to call her but when she didn’t pick up I knew something had happened and I knew I needed to get up to the skate park to see her.
‘Emsworth was too far, she didn’t know anyone there. It was unusual behaviour for Louise. When Shane said she went there it didn’t make sense in my head.
‘Then her phone would not answer, it didn’t add up.’ He added: ‘Her life was on her phone… She always had it around her. She was always on it.’
Giving evidence in court, Mr Kercher said Louise never expressed any interest in visiting Havant Thicket.
Mr Kercher said in conversations with Louise in the days before she died, she told him she ‘had enough’ of living with Mays and CJ.
He said: ‘She told me she had enough of the way Shane was speaking to her and the way she was being treated.
‘Louise text me that she didn’t like the way Shane spoke to her… She said he speaks to her like shit.’
The defendant, wearing a blue tee-shirt, sat in the dock at the court, where he admitted manslaughter on Monday.
Mays, of Havant, Hampshire, denies murder but admits manslaughter and the trial continues.