In 2014, Sarah Sands killed a convicted paedophile. Her three sons, who were all abused by the man, spoke to the BBC about their mother’s actions. At around that time, Sarah had left her east London home with a knife and a hood over her head.
After walking to a nearby flat, she went to the home of an elderly man named Michael Pleasted. There, she stabbed him multiple times, causing him to bleed to death. At that time, he was 77 years old and was a convicted paedophile.
He was accused of sexually abusing young boys on the estate where he lived in Silvertown. Due to the nature of the case, the names of the alleged victims could not be revealed during the trial. Now, the BBC has reported that all of the boys who were abused by the man were the sons of Sarah Sands.
Bradley, the eldest son of Sarah, decided to speak out about the abuse he suffered at the hands of the man last year. His two younger brothers, who were also abused by the same man, also spoke to the BBC about their mother’s actions. As they were young adults, they remember what their mother did to them.
They said growing up with their mother in prison was hard, and while she has expressed her regret, her sons are still honest about what she did. Bradley noted that he thought “hats off” upon hearing about what his mother did, but he also said that it made them feel safer.
Although they still suffer from nightmares, the murder of the man gave them a sense of security. It prevented them from going down the street and worrying that he would suddenly turn up at their house. Bradley noted that he would often open a window to view the man’s home. His younger brother, also called him dead, said it was “nice” to know that he was no longer alive.
Sarah Sands and her family moved to a new home in Silvertown several months before the murder. During this time, she became friends with the man, who lived on his own. He was known to sit outside the local newsagents and interact with the residents.
According to her, she viewed the man as a lovely old man who she would cook for and look after. On the night of the murder, she was caught on CCTV going to the man’s flat. She said that she wanted to ask the man to take responsibility for his actions so that her sons would not have to go through the ordeal of going to court.
She admitted that she did not know what she was doing at the time, and she said that the man was not remorseful. She also noted that she did not intend to kill the man. She said that she had the knife in her left hand, and she remembers the man trying to grab it.
She handed herself in to the police shortly after the murder, and she had a blood-stained knife. The judge in her trial noted that she may have thought about using the weapon, but he did not believe that she had actually thought about doing so. She was convicted of manslaughter, as she had lost control over her actions.
Initially, Sarah Sands was given a sentence of three and a half years. However, her sentence was increased due to the fact that it was too lenient. She was released in 2018. Her sons said that they have since gotten back on track with their relationship with their mother.
Although it was a nice thing to see her get released, they noted that it also made them realize that it is important for victims to come forward. They said that it would be hard at first, but eventually it will get better.