A teenager was killed by her aunt’s husband after he lost "his temper", a court heard.
Shane Mays, 30, admits attacking "vulnerable" 16-year-old Louise Smith and repeatedly punching her.
But he denies murdering her and setting her body on fire, a jury was told.
The teen disappeared on VE Day, with her body found 13 days later in woodland at Havant Thicket, Hampshire.
She lived with Mays and his wife, Chazlynn Jayne Mays, who was the cousin of Louise's mother as well as the victim's aunt.
Winchester Crown Court heard Louise suffered multiple blows to her head causing the bone structure of her face to collapse.
Her body, which was set alight, was also "defiled" with a long stick pushed inside her.
James Newton-Price QC, prosecuting, said DNA found on the stick was 38million times more likely to have come from Mays than someone else.
He told the court Louise's blood was also found on Mays' trainers.
The prosecutor said: "Her killer lured or persuaded her to walk to a remote location where he attacked her.
"We say you can conclude that this was an attack of unimaginable cruelty towards a vulnerable 16-year-old girl."
There was "background evidence" Louise was unhappy in the care of Mays and his wife, he added.
He said: "Louise was just 16, she was anxious, needy, fragile and vulnerable, vulnerable to the attentions of a predatory man who was apparently flirting with her and living in the same small flat.
"Shane Mays was the last person to see her alive, he was alone with her that afternoon."
Andrew Langdon QC, defending Mays, said he admitted causing Louise's death but he had "attacked" her after "losing control of his temper".
He said: "His case is he did so because of an argument which resulted in his losing control of his temper."
Langdon went on: "He repeatedly punched her and he accepts that his attack on her would have caused or contributed to her subsequent death."
But he said he didn’t intend to kill her and didn’t set fire to her body.
In a police interview shown to the court, Louise's boyfriend Bradley Kercher said she had told him Mays had "flirted" towards her.
The 18-year-old said: "The way she talked about Shane was like he was flirting with her, he would put his arm around her and he would tickle her and pin her down, things like that.
"Shane basically said he feels Louise is flirting with him, they are both saying that either is flirting with each other but both are denying it."
Mays, of Havant, Hampshire, has admitted manslaughter.
He denies murder and the trial continues.
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