Woman pleads guilty to husband’s manslaughter after murder conviction quashed

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

Georgina Challen, known as Sally, admitted killing 61-year-old Richard Challen on August 14 2010 but pleaded not guilty to murder.

She was jailed for life for the murder of the former car dealer following a trial at Guildford Crown Court in 2011.

Georgina Challen appeal
Richard Challen, who was killed by his wife Georgina Challen, known as Sally (Surrey Police/PA)

But her conviction was quashed and a retrial ordered at the Court of Appeal in London in February, in light of new evidence relating to Challen’s state of mind at the time of the killing and the issue of “coercive control”.

Challen, 65, of Claygate, Surrey, who has been held at HMP Bronzefield, appeared at the Old Bailey by video-link on Friday.

Wearing a black blouse, she spoke to confirm her identity and enter her plea.

Mr Justice Edis confirmed the trial would be transferred to the Old Bailey as he set a timetable for the case.

Prosecutor Joel Smith pointed out the size of the public gallery in Court One, saying it was a better venue “given the attention this matter has attracted so far”.

Challen, a former Police Federation worker, was supported in court by her son, David Challen.

Mr Justice Edis set a further hearing for June 7 and a trial on July 1 “if necessary”.

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