Sarah Sands: “Mom murdered our abuser, but the horrors continued.”

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By Creative Media News

Sarah Sands stabbed to death a convicted pedophile eight years ago. Her three sons tell that they were all sexually molested by him, and how they feel about their mother’s crime.

On an autumn evening in 2014, Sarah Sands left her East London townhouse wearing a hood and carrying a knife. She walked to a neighboring apartment complex, where an elderly guy lived. Once there, she stabbed Michael Pleasted eight times in an assault that was later described as “determined and sustained.” He died of hemorrhaging.

He was 77 years old and a convicted child molester. At the time, he faced additional charges. He was accused of committing sexual offenses against young boys on his Silvertown estate. Legally, the names of these boys could not be made public throughout the trial, as is the case in all such situations.

Sarah sands: "mom murdered our abuser, but the horrors continued. "
Sarah sands: "mom murdered our abuser, but the horrors continued. "

Her oldest child, Bradley, who was 12 years old at the time, renounced his right to anonymity to report the abuse last year. Alfie and Reece, his younger twin brothers. Their mother killed the man accused of assaulting them when they were 11 years old.

As 19- and 20-year-old young adults, they recall when, as youngsters, they learned what their mother had done. They state that growing up with their mother in prison was difficult. And while their mother expresses regret for her actions, her sons are brutally honest about them.

Bradley told, “I congratulated him.” I am not going to dispute it.

It did make us feel safer,” Alfie adds. “It did not affect the nightmares. However, it did provide us a sense of security because we no longer had to stroll down the street fearing that he was around the corner.”

“He resided directly across the street from us,” Bradley explains. “If I were to open that window over there,” he says, “I could see his house.”

Reece, then 11 years old, recalls that it was “good to know that he was dead.” But he adds, “It didn’t stop us from having afterthoughts; we would often wake up crying and asking, ‘Where’s mom?'”

Sarah Sands and her family moved into their new home in Silvertown, also, a few months before the murder.

She became acquainted with Pleasted, who lived alone. He was a prominent figure on the estate since he frequently sat on a bench in front of the newsstands, allowing him to interact with the local inhabitants and their children. Now, she declares, “I thought he was a charming old man.” “When I had the time, I cooked for him, cared for him, and always kept him company.”

Some children worked alongside him on Saturdays, sorting newspapers in the store where he worked. “He requested Brad’s assistance, and he was overjoyed,” Sands explains. She claims that Pleasted groomed her eldest son and gradually gained access to the twins. He invited the three youngsters to return to his residence.

One evening, the twins divulged to her that Pleasted had sexually molested them at the apartment. A week later, Bradley made the same revelation. She was arrested and charged with committing offenses against her sons.

The judge granted him bail and permission to return to the estate while he awaited his trial. Sands stated that she felt distressed and confused. She relocated her family to her mother’s modest residence.

The entire globe froze

On the night of the attack, she was captured on surveillance footage entering Pleasted’s apartment. She claims she wanted him to plead guilty to save her sons the stress of appearing in court.

She recalls, “I had no idea what I was doing there.” “I realized I had made a major mistake. In no way was he contrite for his actions. He stated that his children lied. The entire planet froze. I recall having the knife in my left hand when he attempted to seize it.” She insists she had no intention of killing Pleasted.

A few hours later, she surrendered to authorities with her blood-stained knife and clothing. Later in the trial, the judge stated that he did not believe she had “rationally considered what taking a knife could lead to,” but added, “I am certain she considered the prospect of its usage.”

Sarah Sands was found guilty of manslaughter instead of murder because she had lost control. The original sentence of three and a half years was later raised to seven and a half years because it was deemed too mild. The Court of Appeal ruled that she did nothing to assist Pleasted since she did not contact emergency services.

She was incarcerated for nearly four years. She now states, “I had taken the law into my own hands.” I was always taught to accept responsibility for my actions.

The three boys and their two younger siblings lived with their grandma while their single mother was incarcerated.

“There were numerous people in the room. There was no seclusion”. “My grandmother was on the phone with my mother in prison, wondering if I could play football or go out with my friends. And frequently she would respond negatively.”

Alfie asserts that the three brothers “missed out on everything.” Monthly prison visits allowed them to see her once every month. Now he explains, “Sometimes you just want to inform your mother about an issue.” Their pals were aware of the situation. However, Bradley says he recalls other individuals asking: “Where is your mother? We never see her.”

“They were upset with me,” Sands continues. “Before I entered, we were so close, but then all of a sudden I was gone. It was a disaster for them.”

When asked if she regrets taking Michael Pleasted’s life, she replies, “Absolutely.” When pressed further, she explains: “I bestow life upon the world. It never occurred to me that I would be responsible for removing life from the globe.”

Name changes

During the court proceeding, it was revealed that Pleasted had once been known as Robin Moult and was a convicted child molester. He had 24 prior sexual offense convictions over three decades. His crimes resulted in prison sentences. No one in the area, including the housing authority, was aware of his history.

Sarah Sands is now lobbying alongside others for more limits on sex offenders who alter their names.

Sarah Champion, a Labour MP who has addressed the problem with ministers, claims that some sex offenders use new identities to pass DBS checks. These are required for specific positions and indicate criminal convictions.

“Once they have changed their names, they can obtain a new driver’s license and passport in their new name,” explains Sarah Champion. “This allows them to obtain a fresh DBS check. Then, these individuals misuse their positions of trust most horrifyingly by entering schools and other locations where children and vulnerable people are present.”

Ms. Champion tells that the quickest answer would be for police to stamp criminals’ passports and driver’s licenses at the time of sentence.

She adds that police would be contacted automatically if a criminal attempted to change their name, and their risk to society would be reassessed.

A representative for the Home Office stated that a review of the matter had already been undertaken, but it could not be made public since it contained sensitive information that could be used by criminals.

It was stated that the United Kingdom possessed some of the strictest powers in the world to deal with sexual offenders living in the community.

In 2018, Sarah Sands was freed from prison. Since then, according to her sons, they have managed to repair their relationship with her. “She did attempt to coddle us,” smiles Reece. “It was lovely, but it only makes you realize how many years have passed.”

Bradley says, “There is nothing that can sever the familial bond.”

As children, the boys regret disclosing the assault, they say. Bradley states, “Had we all kept our mouths shut, we would have had our mother and gone shopping, going to the movies, and being like normal 12-year-olds.”

However, they increasingly see the significance of victims speaking up. “It will be difficult, but it will get better,” adds Reece. “You should always speak up,” Alfie continues; “it’s preferable to communicate.” If you do nothing, the situation will only worsen.”

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