Sons of Sarah Sands speak out on mother’s punishment for stabbing child molester

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A mother serving a prison sentence for killing a man her sons said was abusing them has warned “if you touch children, there must be consequences.”

Sarah Sands made the comments as part of a campaign to tighten legislation on identity checks for convicted pedophiles.

She was convicted of stabbing Michael Pleasted eight times in 2014 after her boys said they were assaulted by him.

It later emerged that the neighbour, whom residents thought was a friendly face on their East London estate, was hiding a long history of sordid crimes.

The 77-year-old had changed his name from Robin Moult to avoid detection and had a string of convictions.

CCTV footage captured Sands wielding a knife and making her way to his address where she told police she intended to confront him but ended up killing him.

All three of her sons are now young adults and have waived their legal right to anonymity to talk about what their mother had done and serving life sentences during her seven-and-a-half-year sentence.

Bradley, who was 12 when he said he was abused, told the BBC: ‘I thought hats off. I’m not going to deny it.’

NOTE TO EDITORS: We are advised not to use video recordings later than 48 hours after the broadcast of the program by newspapers without the permission of the copyright holder.  For use in the UK, Ireland or Benelux only.  Screengrab from BBC News of Sarah Sands and her three sons (left to right) Reece, Bradley and Alfie, speaking to BBC News about her conviction for the manslaughter of pedophile Michael Pleasted, whom she stabbed eight times and caused his death, after her children said he had sexually assaulted them.  It turned out that Pleasted had changed its name from Robin Moult to hide a long history of child abuse.  Ms Sands campaigns to stop pedophiles from changing their names to hide their criminal histories.  Issue date: Wednesday, November 23, 2022. PA photo.  Ms Sands was convicted of manslaughter on a loss of control basis following an Old Bailey trial in 2015, eventually serving seven and a half years in prison after her sentence was increased by the Court of Appeal.  Her three sons Reece, Bradley and Alfie, all of whom have now reached the age of 18, have waived their right to anonymity to reveal they are the three children Pelstead was accused of abusing.  See PA story POLITICS Sands.  Photo credit should read: BBC/PA Wire EDITOR'S NOTE: This handout photo may be used for editorial reporting purposes only for the simultaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption.  Reuse of the image may require further permission from the copyright owner.

Sarah Sands’ sons waived their right to anonymity and spoke out in support of their mother (Picture: PA)

Alfie, who was 11 at the time, recalled how learning of his death “made us feel safer.”

He added, “It hasn’t slowed down the nightmares. But it did give us a sense of security, because you didn’t have to walk down the street thinking he’d come around the corner.’

Twin Reece said it was “nice to know he was dead,” but said the brothers “woke up crying many times” [saying] “Where is mommy?”‘.

Ms Sands was convicted of manslaughter on a loss of control basis following an Old Bailey trial in 2015.

Her sentence was increased by the Court of Appeal after it was found to be unjustly lenient.

She revealed how she had befriended the neighbor and cooked for him, unaware of his past and that he would be able to take care of her children.

She called for the law to be changed to prevent child molesters from changing their names, telling BBC Breakfast: ‘If you touch children, there should be consequences for pedophiles.

Michael Pleasted was on bail awaiting trial when he was murdered.  Sarah Sands convicted of murdering pedophile Michael Pleasted

Michael Pleasted was on bail awaiting trial when he was murdered and had previous convictions

‘And hiding behind name changes… it must be taken away from them. That right to change their name must be taken away from them.’

Labor MP Sarah Champion told the BBC some offenders are using name changes to avoid criminal record checks being required for jobs including working with children.

She said: ‘Once they change their name, they can get a new driver’s license and passport in that name. As a result, they can get another DBS check.

“And we find that these people then go to schools and other places where there are children and vulnerable people and exploit their position of trust in the most horrific ways.”

The Home Office said it has already assessed the matter and the UK already has strict rules for dealing with sex offenders living in the community.

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