A man accused of the “brutal” murder of 16-year-old Louise Smith has told a court he punched her repeatedly in the face but “did not kill her”.
Shane Mays, of Havant, Hampshire, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court charged with the murder of Louise Smith 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 30-year-old, who has previously admitted manslaughter, told the court that he “did not kill her” but described how he repeatedly punched the teenager.
He told the court that Louise had started living with him and his wife Chazlynn Jayne (CJ) Mays, at the end of April.
He said she had been happy at first but arguments had started between them over chores at the flat and about her smoking cannabis with her boyfriend, Bradley Kercher.
After being shown a Snapchat video of him tickling Louise’s feet, he said he was not flirting with her and said it was a “playful” act that he would do with “all the kids that came to stay”.
He said that Louise had wanted to refer to his wife and him as “mum and dad” and he “sometimes” regarded himself as like her father as she had lived with them previously.
The defendant said that, on May 8, Louise asked him to walk with her to pick up some clothes from a friend.
He said she led him to woodland at Havant Thicket where he claimed she attacked him with a stick after she asked him about smoking cannabis again.
Mays said: “She was getting all aggressive about it and started shouting, raising her voice.
“She said about she wanted to starting taking weed again, I said ‘You do not want to end up like your mum’.
“She picked up this big stick and started hitting me on the side with it.
“I grabbed the branch off her, threw it on the floor, then I punched her.
“The first punch she was standing, the second punch she went down.”
When asked if there had been blood on her face, he replied: “I heard cracks but I am not sure.”
He described how he continued punching her on the ground and added: “I was angry and I lost control of myself.”
He continued: “I got up and began to walk away, I looked back and I heard her moaning and I carried on walking.”
Mays denied sexually assaulting Louise or burning her body and added: “I did not kill her.”
The defendant said he told his mother and the police that he had been with Louise to Emsworth because he thought that was where he had been.
He added that he only remembered the violent incident with Louise when he was in prison after he was arrested for her murder.
Mays also told the court that he left school at the age of 15 and had previously worked as a mechanic, in factories and laying asphalt but had not worked since he was 24.
He said that he played video games on his Xbox console for nine hours a day playing games such as Call Of Duty, Need For Speed and Fortnite.
He said that he had used cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy in the past between the ages of 18 and 29.
The trial continues.