The extent of his obsession with the three females — which included a 12-year-old girl
— were revealed by Justice Robert Allan Hulme as he sentenced Stanford to life in jail
at a special sitting of the Supreme Court in Griffith on Thursday.
The 12-year-old was given the pseudonym of Joanne to protect her identity. When he was arrested for Ms Scott’s murder 1805 images he had secretly-taken of the child were discovered.
Justice Hulme said when he was interviewed by police he confessed he wanted to kidnap the girl.
“He wanted to abduct Joanne but managed to control that urge. If he had abducted her he probably would have killed her.”
Police seized an exercise book with the offender’s name on the front cover. “The book contains extensive notes relating to surveillance conducted of her, including times she left the house for ballet and school and when she returned; when the house was empty; and when she was home alone.”
But she wasn’t the only one.
Justice Hulme said Stanford had also stalked two other women, including a friend of Ms Scott and a woman who worked at a local supermarket.
Stanford was found to have tried to find details about the supermarket worker online and photographed her vehicle. The searches on her increased about the same time, in late march 2015, he struck up two conversations with her. The life sentence handed to Stanford means the 25-year-old will die in jail
for what the judge said was a murder of great “heinousness”.
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.
Given Stanford had search “bride rape” online, Justice Hulme said he could not discount the fact Ms Scott may have been a target before their paths crossed on April 5.
Ms Scott was at the school that day preparing lessons for her students to complete while she was on her honeymoon.
The judge said Stanford may have gone home and retrieved the lubricant and handcuffs when he saw Ms Scott and realised his “opportunity”.
He began online searches for the vile content months before he raped and killed Ms Scott on April 5 last year, but the majority of “bride” searches occurred while he was working casually at Leeton High School.
“By the offender’s own account, he beat her a number of times into unconsciousness … He then produced a knife to stab her to make sure he achieved his goal,” Justice Hulme said.
He said it was an extreme “brutal” attack that involved up to 40 blows to the head in under a minute.
Earlier this week, Stanford’s sentencing hearing was told the 25-year-old cleaner searched online about violent assaults including “bride rape” and “bride kidnapping” weeks before he attacked Ms Scott.
He told police in a chilling interview he was “emotionless” and not angry at Ms Scott, but as soon as he saw her in the staffroom working he “had to kill her”.
Ms Scott was killed by “blunt force trauma” to the head after Stanford attacked her from behind and dragged her to a storeroom where he unleashed a furious assault on her, in which he later confessed to police “I went a little nuts”.
It was revealed this week Stanford had harboured thoughts of killing someone since he was seven years old.
Justice Hulme was in doubt the killing fell within the “worst category”.
“The attack was one of extreme brutality by a man of substantial size ... on a defenceless young woman of modest size that had no means of escape or raising the alarm.
Outside court, Ms Scott’s mother Merrilyn Scott said the last 18 months had been “harrowing”.
“So much has been taken away from us. Stephanie has had everything taken away from her,” she said.
Her daughter “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,” she said.
At the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Mrs Scott said her daughter was only days away from beginning a “beautiful” life with fiance Aaron Leeson-Woolley when she was killed.
She told of wondering if Stephanie was aware what was going to happen to her.
“Did she see the knife? Did she see his fists as he beat her to oblivion?” Mrs Scott said.
She spoke of the heartbreaking days after Stephanie’s charred remains were found and how the family gathered with Leeton locals for a picnic to celebrate her life on what was supposed to be her wedding day.
Instead of beginning her life journey with Mr Leeson-Woolley, she was “alone” in the morgue and about to begin a journey to the coroner in Sydney.
Mrs Scott told of standing in a room “full of coffins” trying to pick one for her daughter who was at the height of her “happiness and loveliness”.
When they finally got her body back she was so damaged the “body bag wasn’t to be opened”, another blow for her loved ones who were desperate to see her one more time.
Stanford’s identical twin brother Marcus has already been sentenced to 15 months jail for being an accessory after the fact to murder by pawning two of Ms Scott’s rings, including her engagement ring for $705. http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-...b831c791ff2c50