By Charis Hill Crime Editor | @HillCharis
In 2010 Georgina Challen, known as Sally Challen, was imprisoned for life after killing her husband in their own home but has now won a bid to appeal her conviction.
Following years of controlling and coercive abuse, Challen beat her husband to death with a hammer.
Challen denied murder on the ground of diminished responsibility, but a jury at Guilford Crown Court failed to accept her defence and instead found the 64 years old guilty of murder. Challen was originally sentenced to a minimum of 22 years, but following a successful appeal, this term time was reduced to 18 years imprisonment.
At trial, Prosecutors claimed jealousy led Challen to kill her husband after his infidelity was exposed. But campaigners have since claimed that Challens responsibility was severely diminished following three excruciating decades of abuse from former husband Ricard. Following permission from three Court of Appeal judges, the mother of two now looks to appeal her conviction and have the decision overturned.
Representatives acting on behalf of Challen argue that the case must be reviewed in light of new legislation specifically outlawing ‘controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship’.
The crime came into effect in 2015 in order to fill a gap in the law that previously failed to protect victims of control and coercion.
Challens solicitor Harriet Wistrich has hailed the right to appeal as ‘a significant recognition of controlling and coercive behaviour and how it may have impacted on her” and claims to be ‘delighted by its potential to raise further awareness within the criminal justice system about the nature of this behaviour and its impact.”
In talking to the press Challen’s son, David, acclaimed the hearing as “the start of the battle” before adding “this is a push forward not just for my mum, but for thousands of other men and women that suffer from coercive and controlling behaviour.”