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Man found guilty of brutal murder of teenager and sentenced to life

|News, Violent crime

16-year-old Louise Smith went missing on 8 May 2020. Her body was found 13 days later in a remote part of Havant Thicket, following an extensive search conducted by Hampshire Constabulary.

Yesterday, Shane Mays, aged 30, has been found guilty of murdering Louise at Winchester Crown Court. Today (9 December 2020) he has been sentenced to life in prison, and will serve a minimum up 25 years.

Mays, a family friend, was the last person to be with Louise when she was alive. When questioned by the police, he told them a series of lies in an attempt to hide his guilt, but ultimately the detailed investigation into this case proved Mays to be responsible for Louise’s tragic death. 

The Crown Prosecution Service worked closely with partners from Hampshire Constabulary to build a strong case against Mays, using CCTV evidence, mobile phone data and forensic analysis to prove that he alone was responsible for murdering Louise in horrific circumstances.  

Kate Anderson, CPS Wessex Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: “Louise was a vulnerable teenager who sought care and support from Mays and his partner when she most needed it. Mays completely broke that trust by taking Louise into the woods, abusing and killing her.  

"The weight of the prosecution evidence against Mays proved his series of lies were not true. He eventually admitted manslaughter but still attempted to suggest that he had not intended to murder her, and that he was not responsible for the extent of Louise’s injuries. 

"The prosecution team worked extremely hard to build a strong case so that the jury could be sure Mays was guilty of murder, and to deliver justice for Louise and her family.”

Notes to editors

Shane Mays will be sentenced on Wednesday 9 December at Winchester Crown Court

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