Sally Challen: Woman who killed abusive husband with hammer will not face retrial for murder

A domestic abuse victim who was jailed for killing her husband in a hammer attack will not face a retrial for murder.

Sally Challen, 65, was found guilty of murdering 61-year-old Richard in Surrey and imprisoned for life in 2011.

The mother-of-two, who spent nearly a decade behind bars, claimed she suffered years of controlling and humiliating abuse before she killed her husband in August 2010.

Her conviction was quashed in February and she was due to face a retrial for his murder next month in light of new evidence about her mental state at the time.

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

But the Old Bailey heard decades of abuse had contributed to the killing and accepted the lesser charge at a hearing on Friday.

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

At a previous hearing, Ms Challen had been released on bail into the care of her sons, James and David, who have supported her throughout her legal ordeal. She had previously been held in custody at HMP Bronzefield.

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

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