Sally Challen admits manslaughter over husband’s death

Sally ChallenImage copyright
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Sally Challen admitted killing her husband but denied murder

A woman accused of killing her husband in a hammer attack has pleaded guilty to manslaughter after her murder conviction was quashed.

Sally Challen, 65, admitted killing 61-year-old Richard on 14 August 2010, but denied a charge of murder.

She was found guilty of murder in June 2011, but the conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal in February.

Challen, of Claygate in Surrey, appeared at the Old Bailey via video-link and was granted bail.

Mr Justice Edis set a trial date for July 1 “if necessary”.

During the two-day appeal hearing in February, the court heard evidence relating to Mrs Challen’s state of mind at the time of the killing and the issue of “coercive control”.

Coercive control describes a pattern of behaviour by an abuser to harm, punish or frighten their victim and became a criminal offence in England and Wales in December 2015.

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Sally and Richard Challen had two sons and had been married for 31 years

The murder conviction was overturned by three judges who said the evidence of a psychiatrist, that Mrs Challen was suffering from two mental disorders at the time of the killing, was not available at the time of her trial and undermined the safety of her conviction.

The appeal followed a campaign by her sons David, 31, and James, 35.

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