NSW Town In Shock After Stephanie Scott Dad's Death
Two NSW rural communities are reeling from the shock death of Robert Scott - the father of murdered school teacher Stephanie - who was crushed by a tree on the family property.
Mr Scott, a retired teacher, was clearing land on his Canowindra farm in the NSW central west when he was hit and killed by a falling tree on Tuesday.
His death comes less than three weeks after his daughter's murderer, Vincent Stanford, was sentenced to life in prison for killing the teacher on Easter Sunday last year.
Stanford, a school cleaner, confessed to murdering Ms Scott at Leeton High School, where they both worked, a week before she was to be married.
Mr Scott, 59, was by his wife Merrilyn's side after the verdict at Griffith court as she made an emotional plea for privacy so they could rebuild their lives.
"We need to be kind to ourselves and let the music and fun back in," she said.
"We need to be able to fade from public view, to mourn our beautiful girl and work our way through our grief." Police told AAP on Tuesday the family was devastated by Mr Scott's death.
His hometown of Canowindra, where he taught for many years at the local high school, is deep in shock and requesting privacy as they grieve the father of five.
Thousands of messages of concern, condolences and prayers for the Scott family have flooded social media as the terrible news spread.
"No words will ever ease your unimaginable grief ... Stephanie would have been waiting for him and given him a hug", wrote Noelene Straney on Facebook. There were also emotional tributes by former students, praising him as a caring and skilled teacher.
"Bob Scott was my teacher at school but not only that a mentor, he put so much effort into us to prove we were worth something," Brad Thompson posted on Facebook.
"RIP Mr Scott, one of the best teachers I had at school..." Jordi Bailey Brown posted.
Leeton Mayor Paul Maytom said the Scott family had embraced his community after Stephanie's tragic murder and the news of Mr Scott's death had devastated locals.
Mr Maytom said the close-knit community rushed to support Stephanie's fiance Aaron Leeson-Woolley on Tuesday, who is believed to be shattered by the news.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to raise money for the Scott family.