Suspected paedophile, 77, stabbed to death in his home ‘by woman, 31’
- The man, named locally as Mike Pleasted, was killed at his home
- Neighbours said there were rumours the victim was a paedophile
- Officers say they are retaining an ‘open mind’ about murder
- Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident
Detectives were today questioning a 31-year-old woman after a suspected paedophile was stabbed to death in his own home.
The 77-year-old victim, named locally as Mike Pleasted, was repeatedly stabbed in the chest during an attack at his third floor flat, less than a minute’s walk from a primary school, in the early hours of Saturday.
Neighbours said that rumours were circulating in the local area that the victim, who was killed less than a week before his 78th birthday, had an on-going dispute with a woman in a nearby block of flats concerning an underage boy.
Detectives said Mr Pleasted was stabbed in the chest in his flat in an eight-storey block in this street in North Woolwich, east London
One resident claimed that Mr Pleasted told her that police had ordered him not to approach anyone under the age of 18.
Detectives said Mr Pleasted was stabbed in the chest in his flat in an eight-storey block in North Woolwich, east London. The block is a mixture of council and ex-council flats, and are less than a minute’s walk from a primary school.
One man, who lives in a flat on the floor below the victim and asked not to be named, said: ‘I knew Mick to say hello to and that was it, but he seemed like a nice enough bloke.
‘But I was speaking to neighbours after it happened and they told me that he apparently liked little boys, and now that I think back I did see young boys going up to his flat, but I had just thought they were his grand-children.’
A woman who lives on the floor above Mr Pleasted’s claimed the victim had told her he was told by police he could not approach children.
The woman in her 30s, who also asked not to be named, said: ‘Apparently he had an on-going dispute with a woman from a separate block of flats, apparently about him and little boys. I don’t know if it’s her that’s been arrested.
‘He has been arrested a few times, I’ve been told.
‘He actually told me himself that he was not to speak to anyone under the age of 18. He was not to be seen with them or speak to them.
‘That was last week sometime I think. He loved animals, so he came over to speak to me when I was walking my dog and that’s when he told me.
‘After the murder I was told by one of my neighbours that he was well known as a bit of a peadophile.
‘I was shocked because I’ve known him to speak to and say ‘hello’ to for a long time and I never knew.
‘But I was told by my neighbour that the parents who live around this area warn their children not to go up to his flat. I suppose I didn’t know because I don’t have any kids.
‘I’m absolutely shocked. I was in shock all day on Saturday and I still am. Even if he did do those things, the person should have gone to the police and not done this. It’s horrifying.’
A 31-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder and police are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident. File picture
She added: ‘He would talk to everyone and everyone knew him. He seemed friendly, and I think he was a bit lonely.
‘From what he told me, he has a son who is a police officer and he has at least one grandchild, a little grandson.’
Another woman who lives locally said: ‘There has been a rumour for quite some time that he liked little boys, and I have seen some boys near his flat.
‘I did actually see one boy go towards his flat, so I had to warn his mum what happened. That was at least a year ago now, so these rumours have been going on since then.
‘I have no idea what has happened though, as there is a lot of rumours going around at the moment.
‘I know he used to spend a lot of time outside the newsagents on the estate, called Mace’s, and he would speak to everyone.’
A police officer continued to guard the man’s third floor flat today as officers conducted door-to-door inquiries.
The victim’s neighbour, Michael Araromi, 45, said he hadn’t heard the attack and hadn’t heard the rumours about the elderly man being a paedophile either.
He said: ‘I didn’t hear anything at all.
‘The first I knew about it was when I was in my kitchen in the morning and a policeman knocked on my window.
‘I didn’t know much about the man, he kept himself to himself. It’s a sad story that this happened in our little community.’
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘Police were called to a residential address in Drew Road at 4.21am on Saturday November 29th following reports of a stabbing.
‘Officers attended and found a 77-year-old man suffering from stab injuries to the chest.
‘Paramedics attended and the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
‘We are in the process of informing next-of-kin; formal identification awaits.
‘A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.
‘A 31-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder. She has been taken to an east London police station for questioning.
‘At this early stage, police are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.’
He added: ‘Although not related, the suspect and victim are believed to be known to each other.’
Asked about the allegations that the victim was a suspected paedophile, the Yard spokesman added: ‘We are retaining an open mind.’