Murder of Louise Smith

On 21 May 2020, Louise Smith, a 16-year-old, was found murdered in Havant, Hampshire, England. She had been missing for 13 days prior. She was staying with her cousin Chazlynn and her uncle Shane Mays, who later murdered her. [1][2] On 8 December, Smith's uncle, Shane Mays, was convicted of her murder by a jury at Winchester Crown Court.[1][3]


In the trial, the prosecution said that Mays had lured Smith to walk to the woodland, with the aim of sexually assaulting her.[1][3] Smith's body was found after an extended search by specialist teams, involving 306 people, drones, and dogs.[4] It was described as "dreadfully treated", with "repeated, heavy blows to the head", subsequently defiled with a stick and burned in an attempt to "destroy her body". The exact cause of death could not be determined due to extensive burns.[1][3] A clinical review of Mays found that he had an "extremely low" IQ of 63.[1] Mays was sentenced to a minimum prison term of 25 years.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Louise Smith death: Shane Mays guilty of murdering teenager in woods". BBC News. 8 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Man, 29, arrested over Louise Smith murder". The Telegraph. 27 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Man who killed teenage girl in woods 'with breathtaking brutality' found guilty of murder". The Telegraph. 8 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Louise Smith trial: Live updates Shane Mays convicted of murdering teenager". Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Louise Smith death: Shane Mays jailed for murdering niece in woods". BBC News. 9 December 2020. Retrieved 9 December 2020.