Independent News and Media

Woman guilty of manslaughter for stabbing paedophile to death

A WOMAN who stabbed a paedophile to death after she confronted him about child abuse has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Sarah Sands, 32, stabbed her 77-year-old neighbour Michael Pleasted eight times after hearing that he had sexually abused three children.

At the time, Mr Pleasted was on bail awaiting trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court on charges of sexually assaulting two children under 13. An on-going investigation was examining allegations in relation to a third child.

He had been previously convicted of a number of other child sex offences.

Ms Sands says that she went to confront Mr Pleasted at his flat in Canning Town in east London. She says that she wanted to plead with him to admit to his crimes in order to save his young victims the trauma of going to court.

She says that she did not intend to hurt him.

However, she says that he refused to listen to her pleas and just "smirked" whilst saying that the boys were all liars who had ruined his life with false allegations.

In a fit of rage, Ms Sands says she then stabbed him eight times. He crawled from his living room to his hallway where he bled to death.

Within hours, Ms Sands handed herself into the police. She told an officer: "Who's housing a f****** paedophile on an estate, like, seriously? He was, like, asking for trouble.

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

After deliberating for three days, the jury cleared her of murder and convicted her of manslaughter.

She is due to be sentenced in September.

The judge told the court that an inquiry was underway into the decision to bail Pleastand whilst he was awaiting trial for the child sex offences.

Additional reporting by PA


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