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Charity says convicted Silvertown paedophile ‘shouldn’t have been bailed’

PUBLISHED: 10:58 30 September 2015 | UPDATED: 11:15 30 September 2015

Sarah Sands has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail

Sarah Sands has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail

Archant

A convicted paedophile who was stabbed to death in Silvertown “should never have been given bail”, according to a children’s charity.

A convicted paedophile who was stabbed to death in Silvertown “should never have been given bail”, according to a children’s charity.

Sarah Sands, 32, was jailed for three-and-a-half years yesterday after being found guilty of manslaughter by reason of loss of control.

She stabbed Michael Pleasted, 77, eight times in a fatal attack at his Drew Road home last year.

Pleasted, who also went by the name Robin Moult, had been convicted of 24 sexual offences against children over three decades from the 1970s. He died before standing trial in June for a further two counts of alleged sexual assault on young boys.

Marilyn Hawes, founder of charity Enough Abuse UK said: “This man should never have been given bail, he had 24 previous convictions against him, so why was he allowed bail?

“This is about the well-being of children and we need to become more open and educate ourselves about such issues in order to prevent them.”

Ms Hawes said she welcomed the judge’s decision to reduce Sands’ sentence from seven years to three-and-a-half years, adding: “She needs to serve some punishment for what she did because a life was lost, but in the end, the sentence that was given was fair.”

Pleasted served sentences of between nine months and six years for the crimes he was convicted of, but he was never placed on the sex offenders register as the offences were committed before the register was introduced.

“I actually think that information placed on the sex offenders register should go back to the 1960s,” said Ms Hawes. “Many of the people who committed the crimes then are still alive and walking the streets.”

During the trial, Sands told the Jury that although she was armed with a knife, hammer and a wrench when she visited Pleasted, she did not intend to harm him.

She explained the reason of her visit was to persuade the pensioner to plead guilty to the offences but when he opened the door, he “smirked at her”.

She added: “He was not how I thought he was going to be. He was so cold,” she said. “I was so hurt.”

Sands told the court that she had taken the knife out after during the confrontation “to show him he could not talk to me like that”.

She added: “He was in front of me. We were staring at each other, I was poking him. He was looking dead in my face and he was just standing there and I don’t think either of us realised what had happened.”

Sands has already been in custody for 10 months and may be released on parole within 11 months,


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