LEETON mayor Paul Maytom has called on the community to offer its support to the mother of Stephanie Scott’s alleged murderer.
The brother and mother of 24-year-old cleaner Vincent Stanford, have been forced to live in a motel since Stanford was arrested after Ms Scott’s alleged Easter Sunday murder.
Councillor Maytom has been working in conjunction with the Salvation Army to provide support to Stanford’s mother Anika Stanford at what is an extremely difficult time for her and her other children.
“We’re obviously trying to show them that we are not going to isolate them,” Councillor Maytom said.
“As mayor, and personally, I feel it is only right to meet with the mother of the accused and to ask her if she needs any help,” he said.
“It’s important that we do recognise that the mother of the accused is very upset about what has happened.
“I'm sure the community would understand that we should offer her support at this time.”
Councillor Maytom said Anika was devastated by Ms Scott’s murder and had asked him to pass on his sincere condolences to Ms Scott’s family.
“She has asked us to pass on her condolences to Stephanie’s family and I will do that at an appropriate time.
“We must remember that to some degree Anika is also a victim of this too.
“I wanted to make sure she knew she had the opportunity to speak to people if she needed to.”
Stanford is expected to appear in court in June.
Ms Scott’s funeral will be held on Wednesday near her hometown of Canowindra, at the function centre she was supposed to marry her partner of five years at.
Councilor Maytom said he had been in contact with the school and that the Department of Education would be supporting staff and students.
A statement on the Leeton High School Facebook page said the first day of school on Tuesday would be difficult for staff and students, but that support would be on offer.
Staff and students have continued to be offered counselling services during the holiday period – this will continue.
“(It will be) the start of what will be the most difficult week of school life for both students and teachers,” the statement read.
“We will be aided by a large number of people in supportive roles and there are several individuals and organisations to whom we offer so much gratitude.
“More importantly, though, we have each other.
“Rest assured if you stumble or fall, you will do so in the safe hands of many who care about you.
“At other times, your hands could be needed and we will know you will be there.
“For Steph. For our school. For our town. For each other.”
A morning tea for parents of Leeton High School students will be held at the Leeton Multipurpose Centre on Tuesday.
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