true crime

Unsettling news for the people of Stephanie Scott's home town.

In two weeks, a man will be set free on the streets of Leeton, NSW. A man whose face has been linked to murderous evil, and whose presence will likely stir feelings of anger, fear and grief in the tight-knit community.

That man is Marcus Stanford, the identical twin of the man who brutally murdered beloved school teacher Stephanie Scott on Easter Sunday last year.

Marcus was this week sentenced to 15 months in prison for his role in covering up Vincent’s crime. But with his guilty plea and time already served, he will be free on September 9 and, according to, free to live wherever he chooses, including the small Riverina town that his mother and older brother still call home.

Marcus Stanford will be free from prison on September 9. Image: Seven News.

Should this be the case, there's every chance Stephanie's family, friends and colleagues could pass Marcus on the street, see him in a shop, sit behind him on a bus, forced to confront a man who looks the same as her killer and who helped him after his evil act.

After Vincent raped and fatally stabbed Stephanie Scott, he roped his brother in to dispose of her jewellery and driver's license, which he mailed to his South Australian home.

Marcus told police he opened envelope about a week after Vincent was arrested and ended up selling the 26-year-old's diamond engagement ring and graduation ring to an Adelaide pawn shop for $705.

It's believed they were subsequently melted down for scrap metal.

Presenting her victim impact statement ahead of Marcus' sentencing, Stephanie's mother Merrilyn Scott fought back tears as she told the court about the sentimental value of the jewellery.

"These treasured little rings that had meant so much had become trophies. The vision of them being removed from Stephanie's gentle, loving hands sickens us and fills us with despair," she said, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

"It is still hard to imagine a future without Stephanie in it. She was so full of life and fun. She was truly one of the special ones."

Stephanie's body was found in burnt scrub at Cocoparra National Park, roughly 70km from Leeton township, on April 10, 2015, just days before she was due to be married.

Vincent Stanford, a cleaner at Stephanie's school, has pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault and murder in March this year. He is due to be sentenced in Griffith in October.

READ: Stephanie Scott: Mother's "sorrow never ends".