British Mother Who Killed Pedophile Has Prison Sentence More Than Doubled

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Michael PleastedMichael Pleasted

Michael Pleasted had 24 convictions for sexually abusing boys in England between 1970 and 1991, but in 2014 he was out on bail for allegedly sexually assaulting at least two boys under the age of 13.

Pleasted never got his day in court because his neighbor, Sarah Sands, a single mother of five, stabbed the 77-year-old to death when she learned about the charges. Sands was found guilty by reason of loss of control in September 2015 and sentenced to three and a half years in prison, but Britain's Attorney General Jeremy Wright believed it was insufficient, so he took it to the U.K. Court of Appeals, The Telegraph reported.

On Jan. 22, Sands’ sentence was more than doubled and she will serve more than seven years behind bars. "Our office received a great deal of correspondence in regards to this highly emotive and sensitive case,” a  spokesman for the Attorney General's office said in a statement after the decision. "Following careful review, this case was referred to the Court of Appeal as it was felt the original sentence was unduly lenient.”

Sands was initially given a shorter sentence because of the extenuating circumstances in the case. She told jurors she went to Pleasted’s home in Canning Town, east London, after drinking a bottle of brandy and armed with a knife, to ask him to plead guilty so his accusers wouldn’t have to take the stand.

Sands said Pleasted “smirked” when he told her his accusers were liars. "I was frightened. It was not how it was meant to go. He was meant to listen to me,” she said.

Judge Nicholas Cooke ruled that Sands lost control and did not act as a vigilante, BBC reported.

Cooke said: "This was a case in which the defendant promptly gave herself up to the police in a highly stressed state, never disputed responsibility for the killing as a matter of fact, did not take the opportunity to get rid of evidence and demonstrated remorse.” 

Sources: The Telegraph, BBC / Photo credit: via BBC