STEPHANIE Scott’s killer has been gifted a last-minute extension to appeal his life sentence, sending shockwaves through the Leeton community.
Vincent Stanford’s looming April 27 deadline to plead against his life imprisonment has been stretched to July 30 by the Supreme Court.
Lawyers on behalf of Stanford, 25, successfully lodged the request this week.
The news comes as a crushing blow to the former Leeton High School teacher’s family and friends, who must now endure another round of heartbreak.
A former student of Ms Scott has spoken to The Daily Advertiser for the first time, condemning the decision to grant Stanford a reprieve.
Leeton’s Adam Mitchell remembers walking into the 26-year-old’s drama classroom more than two years ago, being greeted with a “warm, infectious” smile.
He said Ms Scott was “more than just a teacher”.
“I had a really rough day once and I walked out of the class frustrated and annoyed and down.
“Ms Scott ran after me and yelled out ‘Adam, Adam’ and wouldn’t give up until I stopped and spoke to her about it.
“She convinced me everything was okay.”
He said the Supreme Court’s decision to extend Stanford’s appeal time frame felt like having “salt rubbed into a wound”.
“She didn’t get a second chance so why should he,” he said.
“Nothing can excuse what he has done and he should never have a chance to do this to somebody else.”
However, Justice Action coordinator Brett Collins believes Stanford should have the right to extend his appeal timeline – despite the horrific nature of his conviction.
“Just because someone happens to be a very unpopular person, doesn’t mean they should be prevented from having full access to the legal system like everybody else,” he said.
“It’s not surprising that Stanford would request an extension for his appeal window given he would spending almost all of his time alone in a dark room.
“People in his situation have little to no access to a computer, lawyers and outside consultation so I would argue isolated people need more time.”
Leeton mayor Paul Maytom said it was “very disappointing”.
“It’s been a sad and sorry thing for us,” he said.
“While it’s horrible to think he may appeal, the system allows it and we can’t change that.”
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