Radio Sandwell News

Paedophile killer Sarah Sands' sentence extended

2016-01-22 18:09:58

Sarah SandsSarah Sands was found guilty of the manslaughter by reason of loss of control

A woman who stabbed a paedophile to death in east London has had her three-and-a-half-year jail sentence more than doubled.

Sarah Sands, 32, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Michael Pleasted, 77, after learning he had been charged with sexually assaulting young boys.

He was stabbed eight times and bled to death, the trial heard.

The Court of Appeal ruled the sentence was too lenient and increased it to seven-and-a-half years.

Michael PleastedMichael Pleasted was on bail awaiting trial when he was killed

Sands was found guilty of his death by reason of loss of control.

Pleasted, who had previous convictions, was on bail awaiting trial when he was killed at his Canning Town flat in east London.

The original case heard the mother-of-five, who was cleared of murder, had originally befriended Pleasted and taken him food.

However, when she found out his past she armed herself with a knife and carried out a "determined and sustained attack" at his flat.

Michael PleastedMichael Pleasted was killed at his Canning Town flat in east London

After handing herself in, Sands told a police officer the victim had touched some children "so I took care of it - I stabbed him"

She told the court she had not intended to hurt Pleasted but he "smirked" when he answered the door and told her the boys were all liars who had ruined his life.

During the trial Judge Nicholas Cooke QC said the case was "unique" as Sands had lost control rather than taken the law into her own hands and engage in "vigilante conduct".

He said: "This was a case in which the defendant promptly gave herself up to the police in a highly stressed state, never disputed responsibility for the killing as a matter of fact, did not take the opportunity to get rid of evidence and demonstrated remorse."

But Sands' sentence was referred by the Attorney General after 30 members of the public complained about its original length.

Twenty-four convictions

At the time he took into account the fact she was a mother, had shown remorse and had never denied the killing.

But the three judges sitting at the Court of Appeal ruled that because Sands had taken a knife with her when she went to Pleasted's flat it meant the starting point for sentencing should have been 10 years.

Mitigating factors reduced it to seven-and-a-half years.

Pleasted, who also went by the name of Robin Moult, had 24 previous convictions for sexual offences spanning three decades.

He was not on the sex offenders register as he committed his offences before it was introduced in 1997.

At the time of the attack, Pleasted was on bail awaiting trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court on two charges of sexual assault on two children aged under 13.

Officers were also investigating a further allegation he had abused a third boy.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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