Teen found dead in wood seen on CCTV shopping with alleged killer the day before


Teenager Louise Smith was seen on CCTV shopping with her alleged murderer the day before she was “brutally” killed, a court has heard.

Shane Mays, 30, of Havant, Hampshire, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court charged with the murder of the 16-year-old who disappeared on VE Day.

Her body was found, “defiled and burned” 13 days later in woodland at Havant Thicket.

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

The jury has been shown CCTV footage of Louise and the defendant visiting local convenience stores in Havant on the evening of May 7, the day before she disappeared.

The footage shows the pair shopping at a Premier store and also Louise in a Tesco shop.

The last known footage of Louise shows her walking in Somborne Drive away from the shops with Mays.

James Newton-Price QC, prosecuting, has told the court Louise had argued with Mays and his wife, Chazlynn Jayne Mays – the victim’s aunt – whose one-bedroom flat she was staying in.

But Louise had agreed to come back to stay that night and had got drunk during the evening before contacting an online mental health helpline in the early hours, the court has heard.

She wrote: “I suffer from anxiety and depression, it sucks but I make it through every day somehow but I can’t cope as much.”

She later wrote: “I can’t wait for this lockdown to be over so I can get some help with my mental health.”

Louise’s boyfriend, Bradley Kercher, told police she had accused the defendant of flirting with her and the jury was shown a short Snapchat video of him tickling her.

Friend Chloe Edwards-Guest told the court Louise had been in a “rebellious” mood in the days before her death, particularly about smoking cannabis against the wishes of Mays and his wife.

Mays denies murder but has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, saying he punched Louise after “losing control of his temper”.