I’m actually genuinely disturbed by this story. There are many aspects to the case, but what alarms me most is effectively this; that a woman can arm herself with a knife, go around to someone’s house, stab them and then it be NOT murder because we don’t like the victim.
Michael Pleasted was a convicted paedophile who had been released on bail after it was alleged he had abused three boys. Now you could argue the case that he should not have been released and should have been remanded in jail until his trial. But in a sense that’s irrelevant because the crime he was alleged to have committed happened after he was deemed safe to society.
But what I’m struggling to accept here is that it’s somehow “OK” for Sarah Sands to arm herself with a knife and stab him to death and this is justified because we don’t like the person she murdered.
Even when you hear her explanation as to the events of what happened, you have to ask yourself whether she is a person who’s safe to be allowed on the streets.
According to her own testimony, she armed herself with a knife and went to Pleasted’s apartment to confront him and force him under fear of his own life to confess to the crimes he was accused of. When that didn’t work, she stabbed him to death. Now in her words she had the knife already in her hands and she plunged it into his chest. But by forensic examination the coroner ascertained that Pleasted had been the subject of a “determined and sustained attack” and not a single blow as she said. In other words, forensic examination shows she lied in court.
You might at this point imagine she’s related to the boys, knows them personally. But in fact Sands doesn’t. She just just decided upon herself to exact some vigilante style justice. Because, as she told Police when she finally walked in and admitted the crime, when he moved to her estate it was like “He was, like, asking for trouble.”
So what tripped Sands into the frenzied attack? She claims he “smirked”. That was it, in her mind that was justifiable reason to murder him. Because as Sands told a police officer the victim had touched some children “so I took care of it – I stabbed him”.
In her mind she’s totally justified in exacting vigilante justice out on an individual who was, at the time of his death, innocent of the crimes he was accused of. But what’s worse in my mind is that Judge Nicholas Cooke QC has unilaterally decided that such an attack is fine because we don’t like the person she killed.
So where do we draw the line Mr Cooke?
If Pleasted had been an alcoholic drunk driver and had killed two kids in a hit and run and fled that scene and it then came out he’d done this several times before, would that be OK for him to be murdered? Yes? No?
What if Pleasted was a rapist who targeted the elderley, would Sands have stabbed him to death and felt justified? And more over, would Judge Nicholas Cooke felt justified in quashing an indictment for murder down to manslaughter because deep down he felt, just like Sands, that Pleasted was “..asking for trouble” and deserved it.
It’s inconclusive if Pleasted was indeed guilty of his latest crimes. It would certainly be the case the given his previous convictions, any such trial conviction would result in what would amount to a life sentence. Assuming he was in fact guilty in the first place. But just because we don’t like members of society, it does not grant individuals the freedom to exact their own death sentence out and it certainly shouldn’t be the case that High Court Judge’s should provide a certain level of annuity to people under the basis that he doesn’t like them, that society doesn’t like them. Tough. You don’t get to make decisions like that. The law shouldn’t work like that.