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Mother faces jail for stabbing convicted paedophile to death

Sarah Sands
Sarah Sands

A mother is facing jail for stabbing to death a convicted paedophile when she confronted him about fresh child abuse allegations.

Sarah Sands, 32, took the law into her own hands within weeks of hearing that her 77-year-old neighbour, Michael Pleasted, had molested three young boys.

She was cleared at the Old Bailey of murder but convicted of manslaughter by reason of loss of control. She will be sentenced later by Judge Nicholas Cooke QC.

During the trial it emerged that Pleasted, who also went by the name of Robin Moult, had 24 previous convictions for sexual offences between 1970 and 1991.

He served sentences of between nine months and six years for indecent assault on boys and buggery.

At the time of his death, Pleasted was on bail awaiting trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court on two charges of sexual assault on two children aged under 13. Police were investigating a further allegation he had abused a third boy.

On the evening of November 28 last year, Sands armed herself with a knife and went to his flat in Canning Town, east London, to confront him about the allegations.

After the "determined and sustained attack", the victim crawled from his living room and collapsed in his hallway where he bled to death.

Within hours, Sands handed herself into police, telling an officer: "Who houses a f****** paedophile on an estate, like, seriously? He was, like, asking for trouble."

Sands sobbed in the witness box as she told jurors she had gone to plead with Pleasted to admit his crimes and spare his young accusers from having to go to court.

But when he answered the door, he ignored her request and just "smirked" as he told her the boys were all liars who had ruined his life.

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

Judge Cooke said inquiries were being made into the decision to grant bail to Pleasted.

He has also indicated that he will sentence on the basis that the victim had molested the children.