true crime

Stephanie Scott: Mother's 'sorrow never ends' over daughter's murder, NSW Supreme Court told

By Melinda Hayter

The mother of murdered school teacher Stephanie Scott has testified “there will be no end to the sorrow” for her family during a sentencing hearing for the twin brother of the man who killed her daughter.

NSW Supreme Court Justice Robert Hulme has begun hearing sentencing submissions for Marcus Stanford, 25, who pleaded guilty in April to being an accessory after the fact to Ms Scott’s murder.

Today the court was told Stanford sold Ms Scott’s engagement ring, and another given to her by her mother, to a jeweller in Adelaide for about $700.

The rings had been posted to him by his twin brother Vincent Stanford, a cleaner at Ms Scott’s school who has pleaded guilty to her murder and to aggravated sexual assault.

“Two little rings, how significant they were in life and now in death,” Ms Scott’s mother Merrilyn said in her victim impact statement to the court.

“The treasured rings that had meant so much had become trophies.

“They were sold to the lowest bidder and the proceeds were used for a visit to Silverwater Jail.”

She said the Stanford twins had “conspired to hide the truth” and added: “Opportunities to assist police were squandered, and now we must suffer.”

“There will be no end to the sorrow,” she said.

A clearly moved Justice Hulme said: “It’s impossible to comprehend the depth of your grief.”

Ms Scott, 26, a teacher at Leeton High School, disappeared on Easter Sunday last year, just days before she was due to be married.

Her burnt body was found five days later in the Cocoparra National Park, about 70 kilometres from the town of Leeton.

‘Misplaced loyalty to my brother’.

Detective Clark told the court Marcus Stanford sold the rings to the Adelaide Exchange Jewellers for $705 and told police he burnt Ms Scott’s driver’s licence.

In a recorded interview between Marcus Stanford and police played to the court, Marcus Stanford said when he received an envelope from his twin he waited about a week until opening it.

When asked about how he felt when he discovered the rings and Ms Scott’s licence, he told police he was “a bit confused and quite angry that he would send that to me”.

When asked by police why he sold the rings, Marcus Stanford said: “Misplaced loyalty to my brother.”

Justice Hulme is to hand down Marcus Stanford’s sentence tomorrow.

Vincent Stanford is due to be sentenced in October.

This post originally appeared on  ABC News.

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