Steph Scott’s killer misses appeal deadline

Vincent Stanford is taken to Griffith Supreme Court.
Vincent Stanford is taken to Griffith Supreme Court.

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THE LEETON community has breathed a collective sigh of relief after Stephanie Scott’s killer failed to appeal his life sentence before the extended deadline. 

Convicted murderer Vincent Stanford, 25, was gifted a last-minute extension to appeal his punishment in April, stretching his window of opportunity to July 30. 

Stanford has not yet corresponded with the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA). 

However, he may still file a Notice of Appeal out of time –providing he justifies why his initial plea was not filed before the due date. 

Family and friends of the slain Leeton High School teacher have vowed to fight a Stanford appeal when – or if – it eventuates. 

Miss Scott’s former colleague Sarah Birmingham spoke of her “ongoing feeling of unease” knowing that a brutal killer could be given mercy.

“He missed the cut off – he’s had enough chances and that should be it,” she said.

“In what bizarre world do we give him yet another chance after what he did.

“It makes me sick and uneasy to think he’s getting leniency.”

Adam Mitchell, one of Miss Scott’s former students, said Stanford’s opportunity to appeal felt like having “salt rubbed into a wound”. 

“She didn’t get a second chance,” he said.

“Why on earth should he?”

“Nobody can excuse what he has done and he should never be given a chance to do this to somebody else.”

To date, the brutal murder still resonates deeply with those across the Riverina. 

McPherson Oval was awash with red and yellow last week as the Riverina Lions paused to pay respect to Miss Scott – their former teammate – for s third consecutive year.

The tribute came amid a long and proud series of events dedicated to the beloved Leeton teacher.

Faced with spending the rest of his life behind bars, Stanford lodged an intention to appeal against the severity of his sentence on October 27 last year.

Stanford raped and murdered Miss Scott at Leeton High School on April 5, 2015, as she anticipated her planned wedding six days ahead.

He pulled her into a storeroom, which was once used as a photography dark room, threw her on the ground and locked the door.

Stanford sexually assaulted her, then killed her by stabbing her in the neck with a knife.