A mum left BBC Breakfast viewers split as she told how she tracked down and killed a paedophile who abused her son.
In a hard hitting interview on Wednesday morning (November 23), Sarah Sands told presenters Sally Nugent and Jon Kay how she took matters into her own hands eight years ago, stabbing Michael Pleasted to death.
She attacked the 77-year-old, who had changed his name, at his flat after discovering he had abused her son Bradley when he was 12.
During her trial in 2015 she was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison.
She was released in 2018, and on Wednesday described the circumstances, calling for tighter restrictions on convicted sex offenders who change their names.
Sarah shared her story and explained how her children were affected following the incident with Pleasted.
She said: “After the lack of support, in the five weeks leading up to that and the children having to go and testify, and they had to go to court because he pleaded not guilty, on top of everything else.
“You know we already lost our home at this point, we’d already gone downhill quite dramatically and it was the case of he had to plead guilty, that was the only solution. He had to plead guilty because you’ve caused enough already.
“I wasn’t aware of his previous at that point, so I didn’t know how bad it was until all unravelled,” she added.
Pleasted was well known on the estate where Sarah and her boys lived in Silvertown, east London.
However his original name was Robin Moult and in the late 90s he was provided with a council flat in a block overlooking a children’s playground and a primary school.
Despite his criminal past, at that time he was under no obligation to tell Newham Council about his previous convictions or his change of name.
At the time, Pleasted was not on the sex offenders register because his crimes pre-dated it and neither police or the probation service had a requirement to share information about him with the council.
Despite hearing Sarah’s heartbreaking story, viewers were left divided on whether she should have been interviewed on a show like BBC Breakfast.
Others, however, were not best pleased with the way broadcasters Jon and Sally questioned Sarah during their chat.
Taking to Twitter, one person wrote: “Is it normal for #bbcbreakfast to interview murderers? Seems really weird.”
Another said: “So #BBCBreakfast now decides it’s acceptable to plug books written by convicted killers? No matter the provocation, this simply defies belief? Kill someone and be convicted, safe in the knowledge that the #BBC will help you make money from your crime when you get out?”