Stephanie Scott murder accused ‘underwent criminal checks’, employer says

Stephanie Scott’s car on the side of the road in a wheat field about eight kilometres from Leeton. Photo: Channel NineA senior manager of the cleaning company that employs Vincent Stanford said he had undergone standard criminal checks before he was employed.

Mr Stanford, 24, has been charged with the murder ofbride-to-be Stephanie Scott, 26,after police allegedly found blood in a vehicle and a photograph on a phone of what is believed to be a burnt body.

Police arrested Mr Stanford, a cleaner at Leeton High School, at a house on Maiden Avenue in Leeton, in the NSW Riverina, about 7.30pm on Wednesday.

Colin Joss & Co cleaning division manager Fleur Dooley said thesuspect had worked for the Albury based company since October 2014.

“Our thoughts are with Stephanie’s friends, family and the Leetoncommunity during this difficult time,” Ms Dooley said.

“We are currently seeking further information in regards to thismatter and are assisting the police with their investigations,” shesaid.

The company is contracted by the Education Department to clean morethan 1000 schools across NSW.

Leeton teacher Stephanie Scott and her partner Aaron Leeson-Woolley. Photo: Facebook

Mr Stanford is expected to appear before Griffith Local Court on Thursday afternoon.

Ms Scott was last seen at the school on Easter Sunday, six days before she was due to marry her partner of five years, Aaron Leeson-Woolley.

Ms Scott had gone to the school to prepare lessons for a replacement teacher who was to take over her English and drama classes while she was on honeymoon in Tahiti.

Police said Ms Scott’s body had not been found.

However, her car, a red Mazda 3 sedan with registration BZ-19-CD, was spotted by a helicopter on Thursday morning, abandoned in a wheat field about eight kilometres outside Leeton. Two police officers are guarding the car.

Paul Maytom, the mayor of Leeton Shire, said news of Ms Scott’s suspected murder was “absolutely devastating”.

Life cut short: Stephanie Scott. Photo: Facebook

“I’m still trying to come to terms with it,” he said on Thursday.

“The last few days everyone’s been talking about it in the town. For her to mysteriously disappear like that, everyone was hoping she was going to be found, and found alive. We didn’t know what could have happened.

“I was not considering it would end up like this. We have a small community, most people know each other or know the families in our shire, and to have someone like Stephanie, who’s such a well-liked person, just about to be married next weekend … it’s just devastating.”

Cr Maytom said Ms Scott’s fiance had been “absolutely worried sick” since her disappearance.

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