Stephanie Scott was less than a week away from her wedding when she was killed by Vincent Stanford in Leeton, NSW in 2015
The fiance of a teacher who was raped and murdered days before her wedding by a deranged school cleaner has revealed he has found new love five years later.
Vincent Stanford is serving life in prison for the savage killing of Stephanie Scott, 26, in the rural town of Leeton, southern New South Wales, in April 2015.
Stanford raped and murdered Ms Scott in a classroom at Leeton High School while she was preparing lessons for a replacement teacher ahead of her honeymoon.
Aaron Leeson-Woolley, the husband-to-be left behind by the senseless killing, has announced he is engaged to be married to another local of the small Riverina town – Samantha Cirillo.
The couple announced their engagement in a post on Mr Leeson-Woolley’s Facebook page, alongside two happy photos of the pair together.
‘Awesome news. I could not be happier for you both. Congratulations,’ one well-wisher wrote.
The fiance left behind by the senseless killing, Aaron Leeson-Woolley has announced he is engaged to be married to another local of the small Riverina town – Samantha Cirillo (pictured together)
Stanford (left) raped and killed Ms Scott who was preparing classes for the replacement teacher at Leeton High School who would be covering while she was on her honeymoon
Details of the wedding have not been disclosed out of respect for the Scott family, Ms Cirillo told News Corp.
‘The Scott family do not want to speak with the media so I’ll have to respect their wishes,’ she said.
Last week marked the anniversary of Ms Scott’s death.
After raping and killing her, Stanford drove her body to bushland and dumped it.
The killer’s identical twin brother Marcus Stanford, 28, spent 15 months in jail for being an accessory after the murder, when he pawned her engagement ring and another piece of jewellery posted to him by Vincent.
Ms Scott (right) was days away from marrying Mr Leeson-Woolley (left) when she was killed on April 5, 2015. Five years later Mr Leeson-Woolley is celebrating finding love again
Vincent Stanford took the jewellery from Ms Scott’s body after he raped and murdered her in a classroom at Leeton High School while she was preparing lessons for her replacement ahead of her honeymoon.
Marcus said he was still haunted by the night his brother called him for help disposing of the evidence, and now refuses to have any contact with his killer twin.
‘I did things for my brother… and for most days I’ve been trying to put it behind me,’ Marcus told Daily Mail Australia last year.
‘Now I don’t want anything to do with him. I have no contact with him and I don’t want any.’
Pictured: Mr Leeson-Woolley and Ms Cirillo together in Roosters colours in a Facebook post shared in February
The happy couple are pictured together, Details of the wedding have not been disclosed out of respect for the Scott family
Marcus admitted helping his brother was a despicable act, done out of ‘misguided loyalty’ to his twin, and said he was apologetic to Ms Scott’s family.
‘The day I got out (of jail) I said I was sorry… I’m still sorry,’ he said.
‘But does it haunt me? Yeah. Some weeks you’re good, some weeks you think about it. That’s how I can put it basically.’
Ms Scott was stabbed to death inside Leeton High School (pictured) where she was working on her day off, planning lessons for the teacher who would cover her classes while she went away on her honeymoon
The twins’ dad Steve said he remained baffled and horrified by Vincent’s crime, but he never wanted to see his son again.
‘I don’t want to call him, I don’t want to sit down with him, I don’t want anything to do with him,’ Steve said.
‘I’ve never had a bloody parking ticket. I don’t know why he did it, I never asked why he did it and to be honest, I don’t want to know.
‘He didn’t get it from my genes and he didn’t get it from his mother’s genes.’
Marcus Stanford (left, with his father Steve), the twin brother of school teacher and bride-to-be Stephanie Scott’s killer Vincent told Daily Mail Australia last year continues to be haunted by the night his sibling called him to ask for help dispose of evidence after the crime
The father and son recently moved to a country town in NSW, after they say they were ‘run out’ of their former home at Price on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula when the constant abuse from locals became too much.
We want to keep a low profile, just get on with things, you know?
‘When I came out of prison I moved into Price and you’d get the occasional looks and they say things quietly under their breath, but you hear them,’ Marcus said.
‘I ignored them, but it got to a point where we decided to move away from the town.’
‘Basically we’re still trying to move on. We want to keep a low profile, just get on with things, you know?’ Steve said.
‘We don’t go to the pub, we don’t go anywhere. It’s hard but that’s the way it is.’
Neither man works, and Marcus cares for his dad who is suffering with his health .
‘I don’t like talking about the situation, but no, I’m not working,’ Marcus said.
‘Of course it’s hard trying to find a job, everyone knows you in a situation like this, so you get plenty of knock backs.
Marcus and his father Steve (pictured) are now living in regional New South Wales, relocating from South Australia earlier this year after being targeted by locals for their past
Marcus, who is unemployed but has taken up the role of carer for his father, told Daily Mail Australia: ‘I did things for my brother… and for most days since I’ve been trying to put it behind me’
Vincent Stanford (pictured during a police interview) was arrested just two days after Ms Scott was killed. Earlier that day he had text his brother Marcus, saying: ‘I’m going to send you an envelope keep it safe for me’
Marcus walked free from prison in September 2016 after spending 15 months behind bars for helping his brother get rid of evidence.
Vincent was jailed for life a month later.
In the days after Ms Scott’s death in April 2015, Marcus received a text message from his brother that said: ‘I’m going to send you an envelope keep it safe for me’.
He agreed, but by the time Ms Scott’s rings and drivers licence arrived Vincent had been arrested.
A judge found that by that point, Marcus surely knew whose belongings he was now dealing with and the horrific way they had come to be in his possession.
Called in for an interview by police to ensure they had the right identical twin in their custody, Marcus never mentioned Ms Scott’s rings or his conversations with his twin.
On May 9 – a month after agreeing to take possession of something from his brother – Marcus went to an Adelaide jewellery store and sold the rings for a combined $705.
He also burned her driver’s licence, but only after taking a photo of it on his phone.
It wasn’t until June 10, two months after the school teacher’s death, that Marcus was arrested by police and a month later that he pleaded guilty to his crime.
Marcus admitted his decision was influenced by ‘misguided loyalty to [his] brother’.
In the days after his release from prison he moved into a caravan park with his father.
Aaron Leeson-Woolley (crouching) accompanies Stephanie Scott’s mother (right) and father Robert (at rear) to look at floral tributes laid to Ms Scott outside Leeton High School
Tributes dedicated to murdered teacher Stephanie Scott were laid outside Leeton High School in the days following her murder on Easter Sunday 2015. Yellow was Ms Scott’s favourite colour
A police diver searches an irrigation channel on the outskirts of Leeton on April 10, 2015, the day after Vincent Stanford was charged with murdering Stephanie Scott. Her laptop was found
Packing up their belongings and moving earlier this year, they headed to a small regional town where Steve had always wanted to live years ago after separating from his ex-wife, Anneke Noort.
Ms Noort took the twins and her third son Luke to her homeland, the Netherlands, to grow up and complete their schooling.
It wasn’t until 2013 that the family returned to Australia.
Having missed out on much of his son’s upbringing, Steve admits the relationship he has with Marcus is a selfish silver lining to have come from Vincent’s horrific crime.
Marcus (pictured) pawned two of Ms Scott’s rings for $705. He says his crime was done out of ‘misguided loyalty’ to his twin
They know that if not for Vincent killing Ms Scott, they could be any other father and son in the country.
When the father and son talked to Daily Mail Australia they were in the middle of unpacking a new bed they had just bought for their two-bedroom home.
Inside there is a fridge full of beer, a framed Cronulla Sharks jersey on the wall and the talk is about sport, namely the sackings of St Kilda coach Alan Richardson in the AFL and in the NRL, the Gold Coast Titans’ decision to dump Garth Brennan.
‘He looks after me, my body is shot from too many years of rugby and boxing,’ Steve said.
‘Yeah we know each other pretty well now, but we’re boring as f**k just like everyone else.
‘We go fishing, we watch rugby league – I’ve followed Cronulla since I was a boy and Marcus now goes for Parramatta – and he loves the cricket.’
While they are trying their best to move on, Marcus understands it is something that will stick with them forever – despite their wishes.
‘We’re just like everyone else – shocked and appalled by what happened,’ he said.
‘You never think someone you know is going to do something like that.’
THE DEATH OF STEPHANIE SCOTT
Sunday, April 5, 2015:
– Less than a week out from her wedding school teacher Stephanie Scott, 26, goes into Leeton High School about 11am to put together a lesson plan for the substitute who will be covering her class while she is away on a two-week honeymoon.
– Still at the school that afternoon, she encounters cleaner Vincent Stanford, 24. As she went to leave she said to him: ‘I’m going home now, have a happy Easter’. At that point Stanford grabbed Ms Scott, dragged her into a room and sexually assaulted her, before stabbing her to death.
– Stanford then drove Ms Scott’s car to a secluded area inside the school so it couldn’t be seen.
– That night Stanford calls his twin brother Marcus who lives in South Australia and the pair have a discussion. Vincent tells Marcus he is ‘just driving around’, which Marcus later observes was a bit ‘weird’
Monday, April 6, 2015:
– The killer drives Ms Scott’s car to Cocoparra National Park in the morning. He then placed her body on the ground, covered it in branches and set it alight. Stanford then took photos of her body, drove her car to a rural road and left it there, before walking back into town.
– Ms Scott’s fiance Aaron Leeson-Wooley reports her missing.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015:
– Vincent is identified as a person of interest by police, who take a statement from him at Leeton police station.
– He then sends Marcus a text message saying: ‘I’m going to send you an envelope keep it safe for me’.
– That night they search the home he shares with his mother, during which they find a set of keys belonging to Ms Scott. They arrest him and take him in for questioning again.
– When asked what he had been doing that day, he told police he had been out taking photos. Officers search of his camera and find the photos of Ms Scott’s body.
Thursday, April 9, 2015:
– Marcus hears a TV report saying that police have arrested a 24-year-old man over the death of Ms Scott. He calls his mother who confirms it is his brother.
Friday, April 10, 2015:
– Ms Scott’s body is discovered in the national park.
Saturday, April 11, 2015:
– Vincent Stanford asks police to attend Junee Prison and during an interview he admits to having murdered Ms Scott.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015:
– After receiving Ms Scott’s engagement ring, another piece of jewellery and her driver’s licence in the mail, Marcus searches ‘selling jewellery in Adelaide’ on Google.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015:
– Thousands turn out for the funeral of Ms Scott in her hometown of Leeton.
Saturday, May 9, 2015:
– Marcus goes to the Adelaide Exchange Jewellery and sells Ms Scott’s rings for $705.
Saturday, May 30, 2015:
– During an interview with police Marcus denies ever having received mail from his brother. By this point he has also deleted text messages sent between he and Vincent.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015:
– Marcus is arrested at his home in South Australia and extradited to New South Wales. During a search of his property police find a camera, a business card for the jewellery store and his mobile phone.
– Once in NSW he is charged with being an accessory after the fact to murder.
Thursday, March 31, 2016:
– Marcus pleads guilty in the Griffith Local Court to his crime.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016:
– Marcus is sentenced to 15 months in prison. With time already served he is eligible for release in September.
Thursday, October 13, 2016:
– Vincent is sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape and murder of Ms Scott.