An update on Sally Challen
She walks free as court rules out retrial for killing her abusive husband
Following our blogs on Gaslighting and Murder (28 February 2019) and Gaslighting, Murder and an update on Sally Challen’s conviction (04 June 2019) we are updating you on the final outcome on Sally’s journey.
Sally’s case is a landmark case for victims of coercive control.
Sally was imprisoned for almost a decade following her murder conviction for killing her husband in 2010. Sally was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in prison in 2011. In February 2019 the Court of Appeal quashed her conviction and ordered a fresh trial in light of new evidence about her mental state at the time of the killing and the fact that she should have been charged with manslaughter.
In April 2019 Sally was released from prison whilst she awaited a further hearing in June 2019 with the new trial date being subsequently listed for 01 July 2019
Sally attended the hearing on 07 June 2019 at the Old Bailey before Mr Justice Edis. At this hearing, the Crown Prosecution Service accepted Sally’s manslaughter plea. Mr Justice Edis then allowed Sally full credit of one third because it had always been Sally’s case that she killed her husband by way of diminished responsibility. This meant that Sally had already served the equivalent sentence (as she had been in prison for 9 years and 4 months) and she was therefore entitled by law to be released at once.
In today’s society where there are many other women who are victims of abuse and in particular, coercive control serving life sentences for murder instead of manslaughter. In light of this positive result that Sally has had, various activists are working closely with other women in prison. In a society where the law is almost always playing catchup with real life situations, watch this space as we see how many other victims are afforded the same defence/opportunity as Sally Challen.