07:52, March 01 392 0 theguardian.com

2018-03-01 07:52:05
Surrey woman who killed husband can challenge murder conviction

A woman who bludgeoned her husband to death with a hammer has won the latest step in an attempt to appeal against her conviction for murder.

Georgina Challen, now 63, attacked 61-year-old Richard Challen in August 2010 as he ate lunch at the kitchen table of their former marital home in Claygate, Surrey.

In June 2011, a jury at Guildford crown court took 11-and-a-half hours to find Challen, known as Sally, guilty of murdering the former car dealer.

She was jailed for life with a minimum term of 22 years, which was later reduced on appeal by four years. On Thursday, three court of appeal judges allowed Challen leave to appeal against the conviction.

Challen’s son, David, who supports his mother’s bid, wept as the decision was handed down. Lawyers for Challen argued that the appeal should be allowed as changes in the law around coercive and controlling behaviour since the conviction amounted to fresh evidence in her defence.

Challen’s lawyers argue the conviction could be reduced to manslaughter. Coercive control refers to psychological abuse involving manipulation, degradation, using mind games and generally monitoring and controlling a person’s day-to-day behaviour.

Lady Justice Rafferty, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith and Mrs Justice Carr granted the application. It was the second time Challen applied for leave to appeal against conviction following an earlier attempt that was unsuccessful.