Vincent Stanford has 28 days to appeal against his life sentence for murdering Stephanie Scott at Leeton

MURDER VICTIM: Stephanie Scott

MURDER VICTIM: Stephanie Scott

THE healing that has started in Leeton after Vincent Stanford was sentenced to life in prison for the horrific murder of high school teacher Stephanie Scott may be short-lived if the depraved killer appeals against his sentence.

Stanford has 28 days from the date of his sentence – October 13 – to appeal.

The 25-year-old has nothing to lose by appealing, with no prospect of freedom unless there is a successful appeal.

Leeton mayor Paul Maytom on Friday acknowledged Stanford’s right to appeal, but said he believed there was no justification for it.

“It would be an unfortunate thing for it to be dragged through the court system again,” Councillor Maytom said.

“On what grounds (he could base an appeal) I don’t know, because perpetrators of this nature deserve to be locked up for life.”

Founder of the Real Justice for Stephanie Scott Facebook page, Mark Novall, said after the Stanford’s sentencing that some people had called for a return of the death sentence.

“It’s not part of the world we live in now, but at least this animal is off everyone’s street,” Mr Norvall said.

Mr Norvall said the life sentence sent a message to “other weirdos” they risked being locked up forever.

Cr Maytom shared the view of Miss Scott’s mother, Merrilyn, that Leeton could not be defined by the tragedy.

“Since this tragic event the family has formed a close bond with the community,” Cr Maytom said.

“People know this is a tragedy that happened in our town, but we should not be defined by it.

“They have asked us to move on and to love Leeton for what it is, and it’s a great place to live in. We are very grateful the Scott family has taken us in.”

Cr Maytom and other shire council staff met the Scott family’s wishes and enjoyed a cup of tea and a Mint Slice biscuit at 3pm on Friday to celebrate the hour Miss Scott was born 28 years ago.

“I think they want a happy memory of Stephanie to have a celebration of her life,” the mayor said. “I’m pretty sure that is what people are doing all over town.”

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