Retrial of Sally Challen for killing husband in hammer attack scrapped

A woman who spent nearly a decade behind bars for killing her husband in a hammer attack will not face a retrial for murder.

Georgina Challen, 65, claimed she suffered years of controlling and humiliating abuse before she killed 61-year-old Richard Challen in August 2010.

The mother-of-two, who is known as Sally, had been jailed for life for the murder of the former car dealer following a trial at Guildford Crown Court in 2011.

Georgina Challen court case
Richard Challen was said by his wife Georgina to be controlling before his death (Surrey Police/PA)

But her conviction was quashed and a new trial ordered at the Court of Appeal in London in February, in light of new evidence about her mental state at the time.

Mrs Challen, of Claygate, Surrey, admitted manslaughter but pleaded not guilty to murdering her husband on August 14 2010 and was due to face a fresh trial on July 1.

But at a hearing before Mr Justice Edis at the Old Bailey on FRiday, the prosecution announced the Crown accepted her plea to the lesser charge.

Prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC said the plea was accepted following a psychiatric report which concluded Mrs Challen was suffering an “adjustment disorder”.

David Challen
David Challen and his brother have supported their mother (Jonathan Brady/PA)

At a previous hearing, Mrs Challen had been released on bail into the care of her sons, James and David, who have supported her throughout her legal ordeal.

Previously, she had been held in custody at HMP Bronzefield.

Mrs Challen and her family are due to hold a press conference later.

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