Woman who won appeal after killing husband can inherit his estate – judge

A mother-of-two who won an appeal battle after killing her controlling husband can inherit his estate, a judge has ruled.

Sally Challen, who is in her mid-60s, was given a mandatory life sentence in 2011 after being convicted of murdering 61-year-old Richard Challen in August 2010.

She was freed last after winning an appeal fight.

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Sally Challen, flanked by her sons James (left) and David (right), leaves the Old Bailey after hearing she will not face a retrial over the death of her husband Richard Challen in 2010.
File photo dated 7/6/2019 of Sally Challen, the first woman to have her murder conviction quashed under coercive control laws, who has said courses on domestic abuse should be taught in schools.
Sally Challen with her son David, during a press conference in central London after she left the Old Bailey where she was told that she will not face a retrial over the death of her husband Richard Challen in 2010.
Sally Challen, with her son David, leaves the Old Bailey after hearing she will not face a retrial over the death of her husband Richard Challen in 2010.
Sally Challen wipes lipstick off the face of her son David during a press conference in central London after she left the Old Bailey where she was told that she will not face a retrial over the death of her husband Richard Challen in 2010.
Sally Challen, flanked by her son David, during a press conference in central London after she left the Old Bailey where she was told that she will not face a retrial over the death of her husband Richard Challen in 2010. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sally Challen, flanked by her son David, during a press conference in central London after she left the Old Bailey where she was told that she will not face a retrial over the death of her husband Richard Challen in 2010. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sally Challen is hugged as she leaves the Old Bailey after hearing she will not face a retrial over the death of her husband Richard Challen in 2010. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sally Challen is hugged by her brother Chris Jenney with son David as she arrives at the Old Bailey ahead of a fresh trial for the death of her husband Richard Challen. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sally Challen (centgre) as she arrives at the Old Bailey ahead of a fresh trial for the death of her husband Richard Challen. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sally Challen as she arrives at the Old Bailey ahead of a fresh trial for the death of her husband Richard Challen. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28: David Challen (2nd L) speaking at a press conference near the High Court on February 28, 2019 in London, England. Sally Challen, 65, was convicted of murdering her husband Richard in a hammer attack in 2010 and sentenced to 22 years in prison, later reduced to 18 years. In March 2018 she won leave to appeal her conviction on the grounds that she had suffered mental disorders from the 'coercive and controlling behaviour' of her husband. Today three Judges overturned her conviction saying evidence of her mental disorders from a psychiatrist was not available at the original trial undermining the safety of her conviction. She will now face a re-trial. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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Judge Paul Matthews has now decided that Mrs Challen, of Claygate, Surrey, an inherit his estate.

He concluded that a rule barring people who kill from inheriting their victim's estate should be waived in Mrs Challen's case.

The judge, who analysed arguments about Mrs Challen's inheritance claim at a High Court hearing in Bristol earlier this month, announced his decision in a ruling published on Wednesday.

Mrs Challen had been given a life term after being convicted of murder following a trial at Guildford Crown Court in summer 2011.

Appeal judges quashed that murder conviction in February last year and ordered a new trial.

A judge had been due to oversee a new trial but Mrs Challen was released in June following a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey, after prosecutors accepted her plea to manslaughter.

Mr Justice Edis imposed a new sentence of nine years and four months for manslaughter, but concluded that she had already served her time.

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