Monday 20 November 2017

Mother who stabbed paedophile to death has prison sentence more than doubled

Sarah Sands Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire
Sarah Sands Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

Cathy Gordon

A woman jailed for three-and-a-half years for fatally stabbing a convicted paedophile has had her sentence more than doubled.

Court of Appeal judges in London upped the "unduly lenient" prison term originally imposed in the case of Sarah Sands, 33, of east London, to seven-and-a-half years.

Sands carried out the killing within weeks of hearing that her 77-year-old neighbour, Michael Pleasted, had been released on bail ahead of his trial over accusations that he had sexually assaulted young boys.

In November 2014 she armed herself with a knife and went to his flat in Canning Town, east London, to confront him about the allegations.

She stabbed him eight times and he bled to death.

Sands was cleared at the Old Bailey of murder, but convicted of manslaughter by reason of loss of control and sentenced in September.

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.

Sands, a single mother of five, watched the proceedings via video link from prison.

The sentence increase was announced by Lady Justice Macur after the court heard argument on behalf of Attorney General Jeremy Wright that three-and-a-half years was "insufficient".

A spokesman for the Attorney General's office said in a statement after the decision: "Our office received a great deal of correspondence in regards to this highly emotive and sensitive case.

"Following careful review, this case was referred to the Court of Appeal as it was felt the original sentence was unduly lenient, and the Court of Appeal increased the sentence to seven-and-a-half years."

Press Association

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