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    Man, 29, appears in court charged with murder of 16-year-old Louise Smith 

    Man, 29, appears in court charged with murder of 16-year-old Louise Smith

    • Louise Smith, 16, was found dead in a woodland near her home in Havant, Hants
    • Shane Mays, 29, arrested on suspicion of kidnapping after she went missing
    • Police have now charged Mays, of Havant, with murder after discovery of body
    • His partner, CJ Mays, of Havant, arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender 

    A man today appeared in court charged with murdering teenager Louise Smith, who had been staying with him in the days before her death.

    Shane Mays, 29, spoke only to confirm his name and address as he appeared in the dock for the first time this morning.

    The defendant, whose wife Cjay Mays is thought to be Louise’s cousin, had been arrested for kidnap but was rearrested on suspicion of murder and then charged on Thursday night.

    On his indictment, read to the court, it states Mays is accused of murdering Louise in Havant, Hants, on May 8 – the same day she went missing.

    His wife, also 29, was also initially arrested for kidnap but was rearrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. She was last night released on bail.

    Shane Mays, 29, (right) has been charged with Louise’s murder. His wife Chazlynn Jayne (CJ) Mays (left) has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and has been released on bail

    A 29-year-old man who teenager Louise Smith (pictured) was staying with in the days before she disappeared was tonight charged with her murder

    A 29-year-old man who teenager Louise Smith (pictured) was staying with in the days before she disappeared was tonight charged with her murder

    In a two-minute hearing at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, Hants, Mays – who has short, dark hair with a dark beard and was wearing a black T-shirt – confirmed his name, address, and date of birth.

    When asked what his nationality was, he answered ‘white’ and when asked about his postcode he replied ‘I don’t know what it is’.

    District Judge Gary Lucie adjourned the case until Tuesday at Winchester Crown Court, Hants.

    He said: ‘Mr Mays you are charged with murder which cannot be dealt with here and I can’t grant you bail.

    ‘Either way I’m going to send you to Winchester Crown Court where you will appear in front of a judge.’

    Police carried out a finger tip search in Havant Thicket, the dense woodland a mile from the Mays flat, where the student's body was found

    Police carried out a finger tip search in Havant Thicket, the dense woodland a mile from the Mays flat, where the student’s body was found

    It’s understood Louise, a college student, had been staying with Mays and his wife, whose full name is Chazlynn Jane, at their flat in Havant before her disappearance, following a fall-out with her mum.

    On May 8, when Mays is accused of murdering her, the teenager disappeared while people in Havant and the nation celebrated VE Day, sparking a huge search for the ‘charming’ and ‘popular’ teenager.

    Last week, around 11.30am on May 21, police discovered Louise’s body in Havant Thicket, a large dense woodland site which is a mile and a half from the Mays’ flat and Louise’s mum’s home.

    Police spent several days searching the flat on Havant’s Somborne Drive and removed items for forensic analysis and also carried out extensive finger tip searches of Havant Thicket.

    Police have also been desperately trying to establish her movements between then and her body being discovered.

    Louise’s devastated mother, 39 year old Rebecca Cooper, paid tribute to her daughter by posting a photograph of them together with the caption ‘so proud of my girl Louise’ on Saturday night.

    Over the bank holiday members of Louise’s community have been laying flowers at the entrance to the Thicket, with more than 100 bouquets by its gate. Purple balloons – believed to be the schoolgirl’s favourite colour – were also added to the tribute.

    Louise was last seen near her home on VE Day on May 8 and police have been desperately trying to establish her movements between then and her body being discovered on Thursday May 21

    Louise was last seen near her home on VE Day on May 8 and police have been desperately trying to establish her movements between then and her body being discovered on Thursday May 21

    Many notes read ‘RIP’ while one said: ‘Your life was only just beginning, rest in peace beautiful girl. Fly high Louise.’ Another read: ‘God bless you darling, fly high with the angels.’

    Family friend Jackie Meredith laid a bouquet and described Louise as ‘girly’ and urged police to get to the bottom of the investigation.

    Mrs Meredith said: ‘She was just your typical teenager, she was a bubbly and funny girl.

    ‘She was a bit girly like teenage girls are, I really can’t express how lovely she was.

    ‘What has happened is disgusting, it’s just so sad. I really hope the police find out what happened to her, whatever it was.’

    Mrs Meredith said she believed Louise had a boyfriend and had finished school. One Havant local said Louise was studying A-levels at nearby South Downs College.

    Despite her body being found on Thursday it was several days before her identity was confirmed.

    Today’s hearing, officially a Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court hearing, was held next door at the much larger Portsmouth Crown Court due to lockdown restrictions. 

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