AFTER watching her daughter’s murderer jailed for life yesterday, Merrilyn Scott will today celebrate what should have been Stephanie’s 28th birthday with a cup of tea and a Mint Slice biscuit and she would like you to have a cuppa and a bickie for her too.
Wearing a daisy-shaped brooch in yellow — Stephanie’s favourite colour — Mrs Scott said it was now time to, “let the music and fun back in.”
“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.
“The public interest in this tragedy is understandable. Stephanie embodied all that was 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.
“Tomorrow we begin to celebrate Stephanie’s too short, amazing life. 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, please join us,” she said.
Yesterday, Vincent Stanford was jailed for life without the possibility of parole for Ms Scott’s April 2015 murder.
Justice Robert Allan Hulme called him “callous” and “disturbed” and said the murder fell ito the worst category of killings.
“It was of great “heinousness”.
Justice Hulme revealed Stanford had stalked three women before he killed Ms Scott, including a 12-year-old girl. His obsession was so great he had taken over 1800 pictures of her.
When Stanford was interviewed by police he confessed he wanted to kidnap the girl.
“He wanted to abduct [the girl] but managed to control that urge. If he had abducted her he probably would have killed her.”
Stanford, who had been a cleaner at Leeton High where Ms Scott worked, did not look at the judge as he read out the shocking facts of the case.
Justice Hulme said Stanford showed no emotion when talking about his crimes and there was “not the slightest hint of remorse”.
His conduct after the murder was just as disturbing and revealed how “conniving, callous and self interested” Stanford was.
The fact Ms Scott’s DNA was found on items in Stanford’s room, including handcuffs and lubricant, supported the “sinister notion” the murder involved premeditation, the judge found.