An English woman who stabbed a convicted pedophile to death was sentenced Sept. 29 to three and a half years in prison for manslaughter.
Sarah Sands, a 32-year-old single mother of five, wept as she heard her sentence, the Guardian reports.
The court acquitted her of murdering her 77-year-old neighbor, Michael Pleasted, in July, but found her guilty of manslaughter by reason of loss of control.
Judge Nicholas Cooke QC reduced her sentence from seven years in what he called a “truly exceptional case.”
“This was a case in which the defendant promptly gave herself up to the police in a highly stressed state, never disputed responsibility for the killing as a matter of fact, did not take the opportunity to get rid of evidence and demonstrated remorse,” Cooke said in court.
Sands stabbed Pleasted eight times on Nov. 28, 2014 — just weeks after she heard that he had sexually abused three children.
The elderly man, who also went by Robin Moult, was convicted of 24 sexual offenses between 1970 and 1991, for which he served sentences of between nine months and six years.
When he died, Pleasted was preparing for a court case alleging that he sexually assaulted two children under 13 years of age, and police were investigating a possible third incident.
Sands was friends with Pleasted before she learned the truth about him. Thinking he could be a positive role model for boys, she initially defended him when neighbors accused him of being a pedophile, the Daily Mail reported.
When she discovered the newer allegations, she armed herself with a kitchen knife, which she said was meant to be for protection, and went to his house after an evening of drinking.
She told the court that when he opened the door, she demanded that he confess, but he simply smirked at her and called the boys liars.
“I was frightened,” she said. “It was not how it was meant to go. He was meant to listen to me.”
Sands turned herself into police shortly after stabbing the man.
Sands has already served 10 months while in custody during her trial, so she will be eligible for parole in only 11 more months, according to the Guardian.