Woman guilty of Canning Town paedophile killing
- 1 hour ago
- From the section London
Sarah Sands was found guilty of manslaughter by reason of loss of control A woman who stabbed a convicted paedophile to death in east London has been cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.
Sarah Sands, 32, killed her 77-year-old neighbour Michael Pleasted after finding out he had allegedly abused three boys.
Sands was found guilty of manslaughter by reason of loss of control.
Pleasted had been on bail awaiting trial when he was stabbed eight times at his Canning Town flat.
Sands had armed herself with a knife and carried out a "determined and sustained attack", the court heard.
'Asking for trouble'
The jury was told the victim crawled from his living room and collapsed in his hallway where he bled to death.
Within hours, Sands handed herself into the police and asked an officer why Pleasted had been housed on the estate saying: "He was, like, asking for trouble."
The Old Bailey heard that before the allegations emerged, Pleasted had previously been convicted and served time for other child sex offences.
Police were called to reports of a stabbing in the early hours of Saturday At the time of his death Pleasted was awaiting trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court on two charges of sexual assault against two children under the age of 13.
Police were also investigating an allegation he had abused a third boy.
'I stabbed him'
Sands told the court she had not intended to hurt Pleasted when she went to his flat with a knife, claiming instead she wanted him to admit to his crimes so his young accusers would not have to go to court.
However Pleasted "smirked" when he answered the door and told her the boys were all liars who had ruined his life, the jury was told.
Sands said: "I was frightened. It was not how it was meant to go.
"He was meant to listen to me."
Describing the killing, Sands told the court: "I just had it (the knife) in my hand and I poked him with it in the front and that's when we both realised at the same time what had happened and he grabbed me.
"He was frightening me and I pushed him away and I left. That was it."
After handing herself in, Sands told a police officer the victim had touched some children "so I took care of it - I stabbed him".
A distraught Sands also told the police how she had previously tried to help Pleasted and had taken him food.
Judge Nicholas Cooke QC told the jury an inquiry was under way into the decision to bail Pleasted, adding the jurors were clearly "troubled by the background" of the case.
Pleasted, who also went by the name of Robin Moult, had 24 previous convictions for sexual offences spanning three decades.
He served sentences of between nine months and six years for sex crimes that included indecent assaults on a boys aged under 16 and under 14.
The first offence occurred in 1970 and the last offence for which he was convicted was in 1991, the court heard.
The sentencing of Sands was adjourned for reports and will take place on a date to be fixed in September.
London 'paedophile' knife murder accused woman on trial
- 24 June 2015
- From the section London
CCTV footage showed Sarah Sands was in Michael Pleasted's block of flats for 20 minutes A woman stabbed a suspected paedophile to death in east London before handing herself into police, a court has heard.
Sarah Sands, 32, killed her 77-year-old neighbour Michael Pleasted weeks after finding out he allegedly abused three boys, the Old Bailey was told.
She told police that Mr Pleasted, who had been charged with sexual assaults on two children aged under 13, had been "asking for trouble".
He was killed in his Canning Town flat on 28 November. Ms Sands denies murder.
The court heard how Ms Sands armed herself with a knife after drinking two bottles of wine and a bottle of brandy.
The case's prosecutor Jonathan Ree said CCTV footage showed she was in his block of flats for 20 minutes.
Mr Pleasted, who was stabbed eight times, had been on bail awaiting trial. Police were also investigating an allegation he had abused a third boy.
Ms Sands had befriended the pensioner who was a familiar local figure and ran a bric-a-brac shop from a Mace convenience store, the court heard.
'I stabbed him'
She used to visit him at his flat and bring him meals before she became aware of the abuse allegations.
After the stabbing, Ms Sands went to the Isle of Dogs, putting the knife and clothes she had been wearing in a carrier bag.
Before deciding to hand herself in, she told a family friend: "I stabbed him".
During a police interview, she said she had tried to help him, while all the while he was abusing young children.
She later said in a statement that she denied intending to kill Mr Pleasted or cause him serious bodily harm, claiming she went to confront him and took a knife for protection as she was scared.
The trial continues.
So much of this is BS - He was previously convicted & was awaiting trial for other (similar) offenses, but she want equiped (with a knife) and police describe it as a "determined and sustained attack".........
And she gets manslaughter?
For those of you not familiar - the definition of manslaughter by reason of loss of control:-
In relation to the reference to "loss of self control" within section 54(1)(b) Coroners and Justice Act 2009 it does not matter whether or not the loss of control was sudden, but control must have been lost. The partial defence could still be put before a jury even where there has been delay between the trigger incident and the murder. However the judge will have to determine whether the time delay was sufficiently substantial to render the defence of loss of control untenable and therefore not sufficient to put before the jury.
The defence is not available to those who act in a considered desire for revenge (section 54(4)). This is so, even if the defendant loses self control as a result of one of the qualifying triggers.
Section 54(5) of the Act clarifies the issues in relation to the burden of proof. For the purposes of the section, sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue with respect to the defence if evidence is adduced on which, in the opinion of the trial judge, a jury, properly directed, could reasonably conclude that the defence might apply. It is a matter of law and therefore an issue for the judge to decide whether there has been sufficient evidence raised to put the partial defence before a jury. The burden of disproof is on the prosecution.