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Who is Sarah Sands? Mom stabbed pedophile to death who abused her 12-year-old son

Sarah Sands said, 'I did what any mother would do because he did this to my son Bradley, my little boy'
UPDATED JUL 27, 2021
Sarah Sands killed a pedophile who abused her son (Metropolitan Police Service)
Sarah Sands killed a pedophile who abused her son (Metropolitan Police Service)

In 2015, a woman was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for killing a man charged with sexually assaulting young boys on the east London estate where they lived. After 6 years, the woman has now revealed why she killed her pedophile neighbor.

In September 2015, Sarah Sands, 32, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Michael Pleasted, 77, by reason of loss of control. Pleasted, who had previous convictions, was on bail awaiting trial when he was killed at his house in east London. He was stabbed eight times. During her trial in 2015, it came to light that Pleasted had 24 convictions for sex offenses over three decades. Sands, who is a single mother has now revealed that she killed Pleasted because he sexually abused her son, who was 12 at that time. “I did what any mother would do because he did this to my son Bradley, my little boy,” Sands, who spent almost four years in the slammer before being released, told the Sun. “I never dreamt I’d be capable. I have no pride in it but at least I know he can’t hurt anyone else. I’m not a bad person but I know I did a bad thing. I’ve never denied that and I’ve been punished,” she said. “I’d never kill again. I don’t see myself as a murderer, but I don’t regret what I did. I was a mom desperate to protect my children,” Sands continued. Sands got prisoned for seven years and spent almost four years behind bars before she was released. Now for the first time, she revealed her motive and said she did not regret her actions.


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Judge Nicholas Cooke QC said it was a "truly exceptional case" as he reduced her sentence from seven years to three-and-a-half, taking into consideration her position as a single mother. Sands, who was cleared of murder, had armed herself with a knife and carried out a "determined and sustained attack" on Pleasted at his flat in Canning Town, the court heard. The judge emphasized the case was "unique" as Sands had lost control rather than taken the law into her own hands and engaged in "vigilante conduct". He said: "There must never be the slightest encouragement for mob rule." The judge added: "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."

During her trial, Sands said that she had no intentions to hurt Pleasted when she went to his flat with a knife. She has claimed that instead, she wanted him to admit to his crimes so his young accusers would not have to go to court. Sands told the jury she was "frightened" and "It was not how it was meant to go. He was meant to listen to me". However, she added that Pleasted "smirked" when he answered the door and told her the boys were all liars who had ruined his life.

Pleasted, who also went by the name of Robin Moult, had 24 previous convictions for sexual offenses. He served sentences of between nine months and six years for sex crimes that included sexual assaults on boys aged under 16. When Pleasted was living next door to Sands, he had changed his name, while his crimes had pre-dated the sex offenders register, meaning that few knew about his past.