Vincent Stanford, charged with murdering Leeton teacher Stephanie Scott, underwent criminal checks, cleaning company says

Life cut short: Stephanie Scott. Photo: Facebook Stephanie Scott’s car on the side of the road in a wheat field about eight kilometres from Leeton. Photo: Channel Nine
Nanjing Night Net

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

Cleaner charged with murderArrest rocks town to its core

The cleaner accused of killing  at Leeton High School teacher Stephanie Scott has no criminal history and underwent standard police checks by the company that employed him.

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

Police arrested Mr Stanford on Wednesday night at his home in Maiden Avenue, where it is believed he lives with his mother.

Mr Stanford was not brought into Griffith Local Court when his matter was briefly mentioned on Thursday afternoon.

His solicitor did not apply for bail and it was formally refused with the matter adjourned until June 4.

Officers said they believed he had been living in the close-knit Riverina town for only the past 13 months and would not elaborate on how well he knew Ms Scott.

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

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

“We are currently seeking further information in regards to this matter and are assisting the police with their investigations,” she said.

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

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 but they believe she was killed between 11am and 7.20pm on April 5.

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”.

“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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