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Killer jailed a day before Scott birthday

AAP logoAAP 12/10/2016 Miranda Forster

Conniving. Callous. Calculating.

From the day he brutally raped and murdered bride-to-be Stephanie Scott to the day he was condemned to a life in jail, school cleaner Vincent Stanford showed no remorse for his horrific crimes.

The 25-year-old stood in the dock of the Griffith courthouse with his head down on Thursday as he was sentenced to the maximum term of life imprisonment with no chance of parole.

Ms Scott would have turned 28 on Friday.

Supreme Court Justice Robert Allan Hulme described Stanford's actions in murdering the popular Leeton High School teacher and burning her body in bushland as "calculating", "conniving" and "callous".

"The attack itself involved extreme brutality by a man of substantial size ... upon a defenceless young woman of modest size who had no means of escape," Justice Hulme said.

"This is a case of murder that clearly falls within the worst category".

After the sentence was handed down there were exclamations of "yes" from the public gallery where Ms Scott's family, supporters, and former fiance Aaron Leeson-Woolley sat.

Many, including Ms Scott's heartbroken mother Merrilyn, wore yellow clothes or accessories in tribute to the slain teacher.

Mrs Scott said her daughter embodied all that was good about humankind.

"The past 18 months have been the most difficult and harrowing time," she said in a gut-wrenching statement outside court.

"So much has been taken away from us."

The English and Drama teacher was attacked on Easter Sunday 2015 when she went to the school to prepare lessons for a substitute before her honeymoon.

Stanford, a loner who has autism, was arrested three days later.

He later confessed he'd lain in wait at the school and dragged Ms Scott into a storeroom before beating her senseless.

He then raped her and stabbed her in the neck with a 40cm knife "to make sure she was dead".

"I think I went a little nuts," Stanford told detectives in a chilling video-recorded confession shown in court.

He claimed the attack wasn't planned, yet he was carrying a knife and a condom at the time.

The court heard Ms Scott's blood was found on a pair of handcuffs in Stanford's wardrobe and his internet history showed searches for "bride rape" and similar topics six weeks prior.

Justice Hulme said that before Stanford killed Ms Scott, he displayed stalking behaviour towards a 12-year-old schoolgirl, a supermarket worker and another teacher.

He had taken more than 1800 images of the schoolgirl and told police he wanted to abduct her and probably would have killed her.

"There can be no question that the offender is a very disturbed individual," Justice Hulme said.

Last month Stanford's identical twin brother Marcus Stanford walked free from prison after serving 15 months for selling Ms Scott's rings and burning her driver's licence.

Mrs Scott said the family will celebrate what would have been her daughter's 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," she said.

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