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‘I only have hatred’: Vincent Stanford, the man who killed Stephanie Scott

Vincent Stanford enjoys sitting in his isolated “safe” cell, carving scars on his arms and humming the theme song to the old television show MacGyver.
Nanjing Night Net

The 25-year-old likes eating his breakfast early and is relieved that he does not have to talk to anyone. People annoy him and stress him out – especially people that disrupt his routine, like teachers and nurses.

This is what he told forensic psychologist Anna Robilliard​, who prepared a report on him after he pleaded guilty to the murder and rape of school teacher Stephanie Scott on Easter Sunday last year.

Murdered: Leeton school teacher Stephanie Scott. Photo: Supplied

Although he thought about killing for the first time when he was seven or eight years old, Stanford’s first violent episode was not documented until he was 12.

He was at school in the Netherlands when a principal reprimanded him for being on school grounds without permission. During the confrontation the principal pulled on Stanford’s coat collar – which was near his neck, a place he hated people touching. In response he grabbed her throat with both hands, making it difficult for her to breathe.

He was sent to an adolescent psychiatric centre for “behaviour problems and violent incidents” and was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. When he was discharged he was enrolled at a smaller school for children with special needs and remained there until he was aged 16.

Vincent Stanford leaves court after being sentenced to life in jail. Photo: Peter Rae

Stanford tried to enrol in information technology course but no colleges would accept him. He tried to get into the army but he was rejected because he was “not social enough.”

Born in Tasmania, Stanford moved to the Netherlands with his mother Anneke and brother Luke (now 27) and identical twin brother Marcus, when he was three years old. He describes having “alright” relationships with his immediate family.

Stanford, his mother and Luke moved from the Netherlands to Leeton in 2014 to find work. His twin brother Marcus had moved to Australia two years earlier and was working at a flower farm in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia when the murder occurred. ‘I only have hatred’

Violent thoughts are something Stanford has always had, but as a child he used to “bottle” them up. He says he now knows they are not normal and describes having violent thoughts on a weekly basis.

“This is just the way I am arranged – I don’t think there is anything I can do to get them [violent thoughts] away,” he told Robilliard.

When asked what he would have to do to adapt to society he said he would have to acquire emotions adding: “I have almost none … I only have hatred.”

Despite searching disturbing terms on the internet such as “bride rape” and “bride kidnapping”in the lead-up to the murder, Stanford denies he planned to kill Scott.

When asked about how he felt about the murder he responded by saying, “I can hardly remember it, it was so long ago”.

He added that that he did not enjoy killing her but it helped alleviate his tension and overwhelming violent urges to kill her. Stanford said he felt no guilt or remorse about the murder because “this was something I had to do, I couldn’t stop myself”. ‘Time enough to abduct’

During his police interview, Stanford also delved into the “baseless obsession” he had with a 12-year-old girl who lived in Leeton. He told officers that he wanted to abduct the young girl but managed to control that urge. He went on to say that if he had abducted her he probably would have killed her.

Soon after he first saw her, Stanford began to covertly photograph and stalk the young student. He also took videos of her and police found 1805 images of her on Stanford’s computer, many showing her in school uniform from the waist down.

A disturbing exercise book of Stanford’s was also seized in which he had repeatedly referred to the young girl as a “slut” and contained notes about his surveillance of her. One entry read: “home alone 15.40 – time enough to abduct.”

Another page in the book contained a list of drugs including Valium, chloroform, nitrous oxide and Rohypnol. Stanford had also obtained a laminated photograph of a school dance group that included the young girl – stolen from the school notice board. A ‘highly disturbed individual’

As he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Scott, Justice Robert Allan Hulme pointed out that he was a “highly disturbed individual”.

“The agreed facts concerning the sexual assault and murder of Ms Stephanie Scott make it plain that this case is one of great heinousness.” Justice Hulme said.

He also said that what Stanford did after the murder, including sending her engagement ring to his twin brother in the post, was “conniving, callous and self-interested”.

Despite his young age, his guilty plea and the fact that he suffered from autism spectrum disorder, Justice Hulme said life in prison was the only option he was left with.

“I am satisfied beyond any doubt that the offender’s culpability is so extreme that the community interest in retribution, punishment, community protection and deterrence can be met with only one response.”

After saying this he asked Stanford to stand and,in full view of Scott’s family, he sentenced him to life in jail without parole in the NSW Supreme Court at Griffith.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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