The father of murdered NSW school teacher, Stephanie Scott, has been killed in a tragic accident.
Robert Scott’s body was reportedly found this morning, after being crushed by a falling tree on his property in the rural town of Canowindra, according to 7 News.
Scott’s death comes just three weeks after school cleaner Vincent Stanford was sentenced to life in prison over the 26-year-old teacher’s 2015 rape and murder.
Ms Scott was due to be married just a week after she was killed.
ABC reports Leeton Shire Mayor Paul Maytom has shared “sincere condolences” to the Scott family on behalf of the local community.
“The family has suffered so much with the absolute tragedy that’s happened with Stephanie and now to have this,” Maytom added, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Speaking last year about his daughter, 59-year-old Scott said he believed a person’s spirit survives their death.
“When you die I don’t know what happens really, but you leave this body and our spirit is what goes on,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“[Stephanie] 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.”
Stephanie and her father, Robert. Images: Facebook.
After Stanford's sentencing on October 13, Robert Scott's wife, Merrilyn, spoke of the enduring grief her family was wading through 18 months after losing their "beautiful Stephanie"; grief that will only be compounded in the wake of today's news.
"So much has been taken away from us and Stephanie has had everything taken away from her,” she told media outside the court.
“Losing her has shattered so many lives and we’re all struggling with the consequences.”
Robert, with his daughter, Kim, and wife, Merrilyn. Image: Facebook.
Stephanie Scott was working overtime preparing lessons for a substitute teacher on Easter Sunday, 2015, when Stanford set upon her in the Leeton High School staff room.
After an intensive police search, Scott’s naked, burnt body was eventually found 70km away at Cocoparra National Park on April 10, 2015 – just days before she was due to be married to partner Aaron Leeson-Woolley.
In sentencing Stanford, Griffith Supreme Court Justice Robert Allan Hulme described the case as “one of great heinousness”.
“The attack itself involved extreme brutality by a man of substantial size upon a defenceless young woman…who had no means of escape,” he said.
A status on Stephanie Scott's Facebook page, shared by her sister Kim.