STEPHANIE Scott’s killer has been gifted a last-minute extension to appeal his life sentence, sending shock waves through the Leeton community.
Vincent Stanford’s looming April 27 deadline to plead his life imprisonment has been stretched to July 30 by the Supreme Court.
Lawyers on behalf of Stanford, 25, successfully lodged the request this week.
The news comes as another crushing blow to the former Leeton High School teacher’s family and friends, who must now endure another round of “heartbreak”.
A former student of Ms Scott condemned the decision to grant Stanford a reprieve.
Leeton’s Adam Mitchell remembers walking into the drama classroom of 26-year-old Ms Scott more than two years ago and being greeted with a “warm, infectious” smile.
He said Ms Scott was “more than just a teacher”, helping her students at every chance she had.
“I had a really rough day once and I walked out of the class frustrated and annoyed and down,” he said. “Ms Scott ran after me and yelled out ‘Adam, Adam’ and wouldn’t give up until I stopped and spoke to her about it.
“She made me feel like everything was OK.”
He said the Supreme Court’s decision to extend Stanford’s appeal timeframe felt like having “salt rubbed into a wound”.
“She didn’t get a second chance so why should he,” he said.
“Her mum needs closure.”
But Justice Action coordinator Brett Collins believes Stanford should have the right to extend his appeal timeline despite the horrific nature of his crime.
“Just because someone happens to be a very unpopular person, doesn’t mean they should be prevented from having full access to the legal system like everybody else,” he said.
“It’s not surprising that Stanford would request an extension for his appeal window given he would spending almost all of his time alone in a dark room.
“People in his situation have little to no access to a computer, lawyers and outside consultation so I would argue isolated people need more time.”
It is expected Stanford will now prepare an appeal.