School cleaner Vincent Stanford stalked a 12-year-old girl and another two women before he raped and murdered teacher and bride-to-be Stephanie Scott.
The Daily Telegraph reported the now convicted murderer followed the 12-year-old so closely he collected over 1800 photos of her.
It was reported Justice Robert Allan Hulme told the NSW Supreme Court the cleaner began taking photos of the schoolgirl just after he moved to Leeton.
The girl, known as “Joanne”, had her movements documented in an exercise book found by police that had Vincent Stanford’s name on the cover.
The book was said to have tracked the times she left for school or ballet as well as the registration details of the cars belonging to her family.
Justice Hulme read a particularly chilling extract to the court.
“Included is an entry, ‘home alone 15.40, time enough to abduct’. There are drawings including females, a car, a gun and a sword. There is an image of a female head with a knife striking it,” Justice Hulme said.
ABC reported Stanford was sentenced to life in jail without parole on Thursday morning.
The sentence was handed down on the day before what would have been Stephanie Scott’s 28th birthday.
Scott, 26, disappeared just days before her wedding on Easter Sunday of 2015.
Five days later her lifeless body was found raped and burnt under a tree in the middle of a national park.
It was reported Justice Hulme told the court the extreme nature of the crime warranted the maximum sentence.
“The level of culpability is so extreme that it warrants the maximum penalty,” he said.
Hulme went on to read extracts from the report given him to a psychiatrist who interviewed Stanford.
“He said he had always had thoughts of killing someone from the time he was seven or eight years old,” Judge Hulme quoted.
It was reported Stanford told forensic psychiatrist Anna Robilliard murdering Scott reduced his tension and urge to kill her.
Scott’s mother, Merrilyn Scott spoke to the media on behalf of the family outside the court.
“So much has been taken away from us — Stephanie has had everything taken away from her,” she said.
Merrilyn relayed the family needed privacy in order to process their grief and move forward. .
“We need to be able to fade from public view, to mourn our beautiful girl and work our way through our grief,” she said.
Feature image via Screenshot/Seven Network.