A “FLIRTY” brute tickled the feet of his wife’s vulnerable 16-year-old niece before killing her in “a sexually motivated attack”, a court heard.
Jurors were told Louise Smith’s “brutally beaten” and torched body was found “unrecognisable” in woods near her home in Havant, Hants, after she went missing .
Louise had weeks earlier sent a snapchat video to her boyfriend – shown to the jury – of Shane Mays poking his head between her legs and scratching at her socked foot.
In a message, she had said: “Sorry babe, Shane just attacked me and started tickling my foot and s***. I was crying with laughter.”
Mays, 30, was said to have tickled Louise shortly after she moved in with him and his wife Chazlynn – known as CJ – at their one-bedroom flat on April 26.
Prosecutor James Newton-Price QC said: “Louise Smith was a vulnerable child. She lacked confidence and she suffered from anxiety issues that do affect some teenagers.
“In April this year, Louise quarreled with her mother and she went to live for a time with other friends and family.
“In late April, Louise went to live with a lady called Chazlynn Mays and her husband Shane.
“At first the new arrangement went well. There seems to have been an incident of play-fighting and tickling with Shane Mays that took place not long after moving in.
“Certainly, initially Louise seemed to get on very well with both CJ and with Shane. The happy start did not last for very long.”
Text messages from Louise to and her auntie CJ, which were shown to the jury, described the three of them as “our perfect family.”
However, later messages between Louise and her friends were said to show evidence of rising tensions, as CJ barred Louise’s boyfriend from staying at the home.
Mays was alleged to have warned Louise that if she did not start helping around the house, then he would start to “get stricter” with her, the jury was told.
In text messages sent to a friend just after midnight on May 7, the day before she died, Louise had said: “I cannot live here anymore…long story…they are just vile.”
And while her boyfriend was round, the court heard he witnessed Mays allegedly flirting with her.
Mr Newton-Price QC said: “Louise had spoke to [the boyfriend] about Mays flirting with her.
“In his words he said ‘like he’d put his arm around her and he’d tickle her and pin her down and things like that’.
“On May 7, he heard Mays say that he felt like Louise was flirting with him. He got the impression that they were both saying the other flirted with them, but that they were both denying flirting with each other.”
Earlier the court was told Louise’s jaw bone was completely detached and her body was “burned and violated” during the “violent and unlawful” killing.
Shane Mays has admitted to the manslaughter of aspiring veterinary nurse Louise but is currently on trial for murder.
Winchester Crown Court heard earlier how Mays was seen buying four Tesco pizzas just hours after Louise’s “cruel and brutal” murder on May 8.
Prosecutor Newton-Price QC said: “He knows Louise is dead by this time.
“He knew he had killed her, he knew where the body was, but he plainly did not want to admit that or tell the police where the body was. He told a series of lies that were intended to deflect blame.”
Jurors heard today how Louise’s “severely decomposed” body was found on May 22.
A post-mortem showed “repeated blows from a heavy object such as a large branch or small log across her face”, it was said.
While her “defiled” body suggested Mays “had a sexual interest in her”, the jury was told.
Mr Newton-Price said her central facial skeleton was “shattered”.
But the court was told a post-mortem was unable to determine which of her injuries caused her death because of the damage caused by the fire.
Jurors also heard how Mays may have returned to the scene the next day to burn the body.
Mr Newton-Price QC said: “A determined attempt had been made to destroy her body. It was so badly burnt and damaged by fire as to be unrecognisable.
“Her body had been subjected to extreme violence and violation. This included repeated and heavy blows to her head.
“The bones and the structure of her face had been shattered. Her jawbone was completely detached from the skull. Her body had also been penetrated in a terrible way.”
He added: “There are grounds to believe that part of the motivation for her murder was sexual.”
On May 8, she had been texting friends saying she had the “worst hangover going” before posting a selfie to Snapchat
Jurors were told Mays and Louise had walked to Havant Thicket where the schoolgirl was killed after leaving home at midday.
The last message Louise sent before she died was at 12.49pm, it was said.
Mays then allegedly chucked the teen’s phone and case and was spotted on CCTV walking away from the scene.
He later showed up at his mum’s house where jurors heard he was “sweaty and thirsty”.
At 3pm, CJ called police when Louise failed to meet a friend.
Mays told both his mum and wife he had walked Louise to the skatepark when he had actually taken her to Havant Thicket where she was killed.
Mays said to CJ: “Louise takes the p***. She just made me walk all the way to Emsworth Skate Park.”
Police visited CJ and Mays at home over the next few days in connection with “vulnerable” Louise’s disappearance.
While there, Mays said he would “lock” Louise in her bedroom if she returned and asked if it was “OK to restrain her”, the court heard.
Mays and his wife were arrested on suspicion of kidnap, with her alleged killer telling a “series of lies”.
After her body was found, Mays was charged with murder and his wife was freed on bail, it was said.
He originally told police he had walked with Louise to a skatepark in Emsworth, but later changed his version by admitting to causing her death at Havant Thicket, it was said
Mays has an intermediary with him in the dock to help him understand proceedings as he “suffers from learning disabilities”.
He denies one charge of murder but admits manslaughter and the trial continues tomorrow.