Posted: 13 October, 2016
BREAKING: Vincent Stanford Sentenced For Murder Of Stephanie Scott
Vincent Stanford has been sentenced to life in prison for the sexual assault and murder of NSW teacher Stephanie Scott.
Ms Scott, 26, went missing in the southwest NSW town of Leeton in April 2015, six days before she was due to be married.
School cleaner Stanford, 25, was arrested three days after Ms Scott's disappearance and later confessed to murdering the teacher at Leeton High School.
There were exclamations of "yes" from the public gallery when the sentence was handed down in the NSW Supreme Court in Griffith on Thursday.
Justice Robert Allan Hulme said he was satisfied beyond any doubt that Stanford''s culpability was extreme.
"I am satisfied that this is a case of murder that clearly falls within the worst category," he told the court.
Ms Scott's mother Merrilyn made a gut-wrenching statement outside Griffith court after Justice Hulme handed down the sentence.
"The past 18 months have been the most difficult and harrowing time. So much has been taken away from us. Stephanie has had everything taken away from her," she said.
"Stephanie embodied all that is good about human kind. She made a tangible difference to the lives of so many people. Stephanie would want us to resume our lives.
"We need to be kind to ourselves and let the music and fun back in. We need to be able to fade from public view, to mourn our beautiful girl and work our way through our grief."
Mrs Scott said the family will celebrate what would have been her daughter's 28th birthday on Friday.
"This should be her 28th birthday - the second one we celebrate without her. We will be having a cup of tea and a Mint Slice biscuit at three."