The Mail on Sunday

Back home with sons who fought for her freedom, mum who killed ‘bully’ husband

- By Abul Taher

JOYFULLY clutching her two sons’ hands and back home yesterday after nearly a decade in jail, this is Sally Challen, who was bailed on Friday night after her conviction for murdering her husband was quashed earlier this year.

This first picture of Mrs Challen, 65, as a free woman was posted on social media by her family.

She is seen sitting flanked by her sons, James, 35, and David, 33, who both spent years campaignin­g for her release.

Mrs Challen was convicted in 2011 of murdering her husband Richard with a hammer at their home in Claygate, Surrey, the previous year.

She was given a life sentence at Guildford Crown Court. But in February, after years of campaignin­g and legal battles by her family, the conviction was quashed at the Court of Appeal in a landmark ruling. The court heard how she had been subjected to decades of controllin­g and coercive behaviour by her car dealer husband. On Friday, Mrs Challen appeared at the Old Bailey, where she denied murdering her husband, but admitted manslaught­er. The j udge, Mr Justice Edis, granted her conditiona­l bail ahead of a possible retrial. He set a further hearing for June 7 and a trial date of July 1 ‘if necessary’.

The family said they were ‘over the moon’ about the judge’s decision. They said in a statement: ‘We have never entertaine­d the thought of our mother being released before now, every moment we now spend with her is so precious and we look forward to it all.’

Sons James and David said yesterday that they planned to enjoy a weekend of ‘normal’ family life, ordering takeaways and cooking Sunday roasts.

Hours after the Old Bailey decision, Mrs Challen was whisked home from HMP Bronzefiel­d in Surrey by her family on Friday evening.

It was the first time in nine years that she had sat in a car without being handcuffed.

James’s long-term girlfriend, Jennifer Turney, 33, said outside the Old Bailey: ‘I am not sure we ask her to cook yet, but she does make a legendary roast.’

Ms Turney, who is pregnant with Mrs Challen’s first grandchild, added: ‘There could be two extra Challens at Christmas.’

 ?? ?? REUNITED: Sally Challen holds hands with sons James, left, and David. Left: With dead husband Richard
REUNITED: Sally Challen holds hands with sons James, left, and David. Left: With dead husband Richard
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