bloody knife
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
March 28, 2024 ·  7 min read

Mother recalls stabbing pedophile to death after he abused her sons

It was in the autumn of 2014 when Sarah Sands stabbed the convicted pedophile who sexually assaulted her three sons to death in London, UK. For the first time, her sons discussed the ordeal and their feelings about their mother’s actions.

Sarah left her London maisonette, hood pulled over her head, armed with a knife, en route to a nearby block of flats. An elderly man by the name of Michael Pleasted resided there. She proceeded to stab the pedophile eight times in what later was described as a “determined and sustained attack”. Leaving him to bleed to death.

A convicted pedophile, Pleasted was 77 at the time of the murder

The elderly man was already facing other charges at the time. He was accused of sexual assault against young boys on the estate in Silvertown where he lived. The names of the victims could not be made public at the time due to the sensitivity of the trial.

It has now been made clear that the three boys involved in the case were in fact Sarah’s sons

Eldest Bradley who was 12 at the time refused anonymity last year to reveal the truth behind the sexual abuse. His twin brothers, Alfie and Reece have since done the same, being 11 at the time of the pedophile’s murder. They’re now 19 and 20 respectively.

They remembered as children that they had learned what their mother had done to the man. They say that their lives have been much harder since their mother has been imprisoned. As much as Sarah suggests she has remorse for her decision, her sons brutally tell it as it is.

Read: Enraged mother threw boiling water on her husband for sexually assaulting her children

BBC interview with Sands and her sons
Image Credit: BBC News

I thought hats off,” Bradley tells the BBC. “I’m not going to deny it. “It did make us feel safer,” Alfie adds. “It didn’t slow down the nightmares. But it did give us a sense of security because you didn’t have to walk down the street thinking he was going to come around the corner.”

He lived literally across the road from us,” Bradley adds. “I could open that window over there,” he says pointing, “and I’d see his house.” Reece says, then aged 11, it was “nice knowing that he was dead”. But he adds: “It didn’t stop any afterthoughts, you know, we would often wake up crying [saying] ‘where’s mum?'”

It was just months before the killing occurred that the family had moved into the Silvertown home

Sarah originally became friends with Pleasted who was quite a well-known feature at the estate. He lived alone, but one would often see him sitting outside the newsagents which gave him direct access to the residents and their children. “I thought he was a lovely old man,” she says now. “I cooked for him, looked after him, always kept him company when I had the time.”

He sorted the newspapers at the shop and a few of the local children had jobs working Saturdays for him. Sands says she remembers him asking Brad whether he’d like to help out and he was quite excited about the offer. She says that this was app part of a pattern of grooming and that he was using Brad to slowly get to the twins as well. He eventually invited the three boys back to his home on the estate.

The twins came forward to their mother one evening, disclosing to her that Pleasted had sexually assaulted them. It was just a week later that Bradey had claimed the same. Pleasted was arrested and charged with the said offenses against her sons, but when awaiting trial, he was released on bail. He was allowed to return home, back to the very estate the pedophile’s victims were cowering in.

Sands was distraught and moved them into her mother’s small home

CCTV cameras spotted Sands making her way to Pleasted’s flat on the night of the attack. Her plan was to make him admit to what he had done to her sons to spare her children from having to go through the court system. She admitted that she didn’t really know what she was doing at the time.

The CCTV footage of Sands on her way to the previously charged paedophile's home
Image Credit: Daily Mail

He was unremorseful and Sands soon realized that she had made a massive mistake even going there. He told her that her boys were lying and that is when the whole world just froze. She remembers him trying to grab the knife from her left hand, maintaining that she was not intent on killing the pedophile at the time.

It was only a few hours later that Sands handed herself in at the local police station along with the knife and blood-stained clothing which would now form evidence against the woman. The judge did not believe that Sands acted rationally by even taking a knife with her in the first place, adding that he was sure the possibility of its use must have been on her mind.

Convicted of manslaughter rather than murder

On the grounds of Sands losing control, the court found Sarah guilty of manslaughter and she was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. This sentence was later extended to seven years as it was found to be much too lenient based on the findings. “I had taken the law into my own hands,” she says now. “I’ve always been raised to take responsibility for my actions.

Three decades of sexual assault

It was found that Michael Pleasted’s criminal record spanned over three decades, well into the 1990s. The three boys went on to live with their grandmother. There was no privacy, with all three of them being confined to one room. Bradley remembers his grandmother talking to his mother on the phone from prison. Asking her whether they could go play football or see their friends. She would often say no.

Alfie says that the brothers missed out on quite a lot and went to see their mother once a month. Everyone around them knew things were different, but he never remembers anyone asking where his mom was. Sands says that her sons were very angry at the time.

They used to be very close, but after the conviction, her sons pulled away from her. Asked if she felt remorse for ending Michael Pleasted’s life, she says: “Absolutely.” Pressed further, she adds: “I bring life into the world. It never occurred to me that I would be guilty of taking life out of the world.”

A wolf in sheep’s clothing

It emerged that Pleasted originally went by the name of Robin Moult and that he had his name legally changed. He had 24 prior convictions against him for sex offending that spanned over three decades and his crimes saw him doing jail time. Not one person in the area knew a lick of his past. Sands is currently campaigning to tighten the restrictions on name changes where the applicants face similar prior criminal charges.

Michael Pleasted, charged paedophile
Image Credit: Daily Mail

Sarah Champion, Labor MP has raised the glaring issue that pedophiles are using this loophole to avoid being caught out when going through DBS checks which are compulsory in some roles as they reveal criminal records. “Once they have changed their names, they are able to get a new driving license and passport in that name,” says Champion. “That enables them to get a new DBS check. And we are finding that these people are then going into schools and other places where there are children and vulnerable people and exploiting their positions of trust in the most horrific ways.”

Mark their passports and driver’s licenses at the time of conviction – a simple solution

Police would automatically be notified when a convicted pedophile attempts a name change which could encourage a new assessment to be made of their actual risk to society. It is said that the UK has some of the toughest powers in the world when it comes to sex offenders and how they reside in the country.

Released in 2018, Sands tries to repair a broken relationship

Sarah was released in 2018 and has worked hard on rebuilding her relationship with her sons. Reece says that his mom did try to baby them a lot and it made them realize that all those years had been lost. “There is nothing that is going to break the family bond,” adds Bradley.

Sands' sons
Image Credit: Daily Mail

The boys have since said that they regret ever revealing the abuse to their mother. Suggesting that this would have kept her from prison. Doing normal things as a family. They do however realize that they made the right decision and that it is tremendously important for victims to speak out about their abuse.

Keep Reading: Neighbor Who Complained About Living Next Door To A Pedophile Jailed For Being A Pedophile


  1. ‘He showed no fear, he was not remorseful at all’: Mother tells of moment she stabbed convicted paedophile to death for abusing her three sons and reveals how he tried to grab the knife as he told her ‘your children are lying’.” DailyMail. Laurence Dollimore and Martin Robsinson. November 23, 2022
  2. Sarah Sands: ‘Mum killed our abuser – it didn’t stop the nightmares’.” BBC News. June Kelly. November 23, 2022.