Stephanie Scott: Marcus Stanford pleads guilty to being accessory to murder of Leeton teacher

Marcus Stanford has pleaded guilty to being an accessory to the murder of Leeton schoolteacher Stephanie Scott.

Stanford is the twin brother of Vincent Stanford, who is accused of raping and murdering Ms Scott in April last year.

The murdered 26-year-old’s body was found burnt in a national park about 70 kilometres from the NSW Riverina town of Leeton.

Marcus Stanford pleads guilty to being accessory to murder of Leeton teacher. Source: 7 News.
Marcus Stanford pleads guilty to being accessory to murder of Leeton teacher. Source: 7 News.
Stephanie Scott had been excitedly planning for her wedding. Photo: 7News
Stephanie Scott had been excitedly planning for her wedding. Photo: 7News

Vincent and Marcus Stanford are appearing today in Griffith Local Court.

Leeton High School cleaner Vincent Stanford was charged with her murder and remains in police custody.

He worked at the same school as Ms Scott.


The discovery of Ms Scott's body came after a weeklong search for the missing woman, who vanished as she was making final preparations for her wedding to Aaron Leeson-Woolley.

Ms Scott was last seen working at her high school on Myrtle Street, about 11am on Sunday 5 April 2015,

The grief-stricken community rallied around Mr Leeson-Woolley and the Scott family in the months following the tragedy.

Stephanie was due to marry her childhood sweetheart Aaron Leeson-Woolley. Source: 7 News.
Stephanie was due to marry her childhood sweetheart Aaron Leeson-Woolley. Source: 7 News.

Hundreds gathered in a Leeton Park to remember the popular school teacher on a day that should have been the happiest of her life - her planned wedding day on April 11, 2015.

At the time her family thanked the community for their support and vowed to restore Ms Scott’s dignity following the recovering of her body.

Robert Scott, Stephanie’s father gave an emotional tribute to his daughter at the time of her death.

“When you die I don’t know what happens really, but you leave this body and our spirit is what goes on," he said.

Stephanie's devastated fiance Aaron Leeson-Woolley breaks down at the yellow Leeton memorial for the slain teacher. Photo: Getty
Stephanie's devastated fiance Aaron Leeson-Woolley breaks down at the yellow Leeton memorial for the slain teacher. Photo: Getty
Stephanie Scott pictured with fiancé Aaron Woolley. Photos: Supplied
Stephanie Scott pictured with fiancé Aaron Woolley. Photos: Supplied

“She had plenty of spirit so, whatever happens, she should be in the best place possible because she had one of the best spirits you’ve ever come across.”

Her accused murder, Vincent Stanford, moved to Leeton just over 14 months before Ms Scott was killed.

Born in Tasmania, Vincent and Marcus moved to Holland for a decade before coming back to Australia.

Prior to working as a cleaner in Leeton he did some work for his twin brother Marcus for an independent computer game company called Bullet Proof Studio.

Police divers search an irrigation channel for the body of teacher Stephanie Scott on the outskirts of Leeton, in the NSW Riverina. Photo: AAP Image/David Moir
Police divers search an irrigation channel for the body of teacher Stephanie Scott on the outskirts of Leeton, in the NSW Riverina. Photo: AAP Image/David Moir
Stephanie Scott's car was found abandoned in a paddock near Leeton. Photo: 7News
Stephanie Scott's car was found abandoned in a paddock near Leeton. Photo: 7News

At the time police charged Vincent Stanford with murder and one count of aggravated sexual assault and inflicting actual bodily harm on Ms Scott between 1.40pm and 2pm on April 5, 2015.

He was later arrested at his Leeton home after police found blood and a camera with photographs of a burned body on it, allegedly in his car.

Marcus Stanford is expected to be sentenced in May.

News break – March 31

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