Radio Sandwell News

Woman guilty of paedophile killing

2015-07-11 09:01:05

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

A woman who stabbed a convicted paedophile to death in east London has been cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

Sarah Sands, 32, stabbed her 77-year-old neighbour Michael Pleasted eight times after finding out he had allegedly abused three boys.

Sands was found guilty of manslaughter by reason of loss of control.

Pleasted, who had previous convictions, was on bail awaiting trial when he was stabbed at his Canning Town flat.

Sands had armed herself with a knife and carried out a "determined and sustained attack", the court heard.

'Asking for trouble'

The jury was told the victim crawled from his living room and collapsed in his hallway where he bled to death.

Within hours, Sands handed herself into the police and asked an officer why Pleasted had been housed on the estate saying: "He was, like, asking for trouble."

The Old Bailey heard that before the allegations emerged, Pleasted had previously been convicted and served time for other child sex offences.

Sarah SandsPolice were called to reports of a stabbing in the early hours of Saturday

At the time of his death Pleasted was awaiting trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court on two charges of sexual assault against two children under the age of 13.

Police were also investigating an allegation he had abused a third boy.

'I stabbed him'

Sands told the court she had not intended to hurt Pleasted when she went to his flat with a knife, claiming instead she wanted him to admit to his crimes so his young accusers would not have to go to court.

However Pleasted "smirked" when he answered the door and told her the boys were all liars who had ruined his life, the jury was told.

Sands said: "I was frightened. It was not how it was meant to go.

"He was meant to listen to me."

Describing the killing, Sands told the court: "I just had it (the knife) in my hand and I poked him with it in the front and that's when we both realised at the same time what had happened and he grabbed me.

"He was frightening me and I pushed him away and I left. That was it."

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

A distraught Sands also told the police how she had previously tried to help Pleasted and had taken him food.

Previous convictions

Judge Nicholas Cooke QC told the jury an inquiry was under way into the decision to bail Pleasted, adding the jurors were clearly "troubled by the background" of the case.

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

He served sentences of between nine months and six years for sex crimes that included indecent assaults on a boys aged under 16 and under 14.

The first offence occurred in 1970 and the last offence for which he was convicted was in 1991, the court heard.

The sentencing of Sands was adjourned for reports and will take place on a date to be fixed in September.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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