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Mum who killed her children's sexual abuser wants offenders banned from changing their names

Poppy Bilderbeck

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| Last updated 

Mum who killed her children's sexual abuser wants offenders banned from changing their names

Featured Image Credit: BBC News

A mum has called for paedophiles to not be able to change their name after she killed a sex offender.

In 2014, Sarah Sands' children told her they'd been sexually abused by 77-year-old Michael Pleasted.

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Sands sought Pleasted out and killed him, stabbing him eight times in his flat in East London.

It was later discovered Pleasted had a previous history of abusing children, however, because the he had changed his name, no one around him knew.

Prior to living on the same estate in Silvertown as Sands and her children, Pleasted went by the name Robin Moult.

Sands stabbed Pleasted eight times. Credit: BBC Breakfast
Sands stabbed Pleasted eight times. Credit: BBC Breakfast

While there are strict rules sex offenders must adhere by while living in the community, Sands is campaigning for stricter regulations which mean sex offenders are unable to change their name in order to hide their history.

Sands told BBC Breakfast: "For paedophiles, if you touch children, there has to be consequences.

"And hiding behind name changes has to be a consequence. [...] That right to change their name has to taken away."

The family urge others to speak out. Credit: BBC
The family urge others to speak out. Credit: BBC

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent June Kelly explained Sands and campaigners are trying to enforce 'tighter controls' because, right now, sex offenders are changing their names and simply getting new documentation in that name i.e. passports and driving licences.

With that new documentation, previous offenders are then able to 'get through criminal checks with their new identity' - some even seeking employment working with children - burying their past and beginning again with no record of their criminal history.

Sands and campaigners are ultimately calling for 'more cross-checking with sex offenders'.

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent June Kelly explained some sex offenders simply change their name, get new documentation and use that to re-enter the community under the pretence of not having any criminal history. Credit: BBC Breakfast
BBC Home Affairs Correspondent June Kelly explained some sex offenders simply change their name, get new documentation and use that to re-enter the community under the pretence of not having any criminal history. Credit: BBC Breakfast

Sands had befriended Pleasted, cooking, cleaning and spending time with the 77-year-old.

The mum let one of her sons, Bradley (12) visit the old man to help with his job at the local newsagents.

Having gained access to her sons and tricked Sands into trusting him, Pleasted allegedly sexually assaulted Sand's three boys - the younger two, Alfie and Reece, just 11 years old at the time.

Sands' sons have publicly spoken out. Credit: BBC Breakfast
Sands' sons have publicly spoken out. Credit: BBC Breakfast

The boys told their mum Pleasted had abused them and the 77-year-old was arrested, however after he was released on bail and 'was not remorseful in any shape or form,' so Sands confronted Pleasted at his house with a knife.

The two allegedly struggled over the weapon, before Sands stabbed the man eight times.

Sands later handed herself into the police and in 2015, was sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of manslaughter on the basis of loss of control.

However, the Court of Appeal later increased her sentence - ruling it was 'too lenient' - raising it to seven-and-a-half years.

The mum is campaigning for tighter regulations so paedophiles can't change their name and hide behind a new identity. Credit: BBC Breakfast
The mum is campaigning for tighter regulations so paedophiles can't change their name and hide behind a new identity. Credit: BBC Breakfast

According to Home Affairs Correspondent Kelly, the government has said it's doing a review of the rules surrounding sex offenders.

However, the review will not be made public - despite campaigners protests - because it 'contains certain sensitive information'.

Kelly noted: "The campaigners are going to keep battling."

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, 8am–10pm Monday to Friday, 9am–6pm weekends. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact The Survivor’s Trust for free on 08088 010 818, or through their website thesurvivorstrust.org

Topics: News, Parenting, True Crime

Poppy Bilderbeck
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