Beachy Head woman remanded over husband's murder

A woman appeared in court today accused of murdering her estranged husband.

Sally Challen, 56, is alleged to have bludgeoned Richard Challen to death at his home in Claygate, near Esher, Surrey.



The 61-year-old was found dead on Sunday after he suffered "severe blunt force trauma to the head", Surrey Police said.



Challen, who was arrested on Sunday after she was persuaded to leave the edge of cliffs at Beachy Head, East Sussex, spoke only to confirm her name, address and date of birth during the three-minute hearing at Staines Magistrates' Court.



She was remanded in custody and will appear at Guildford Crown Court within the next 48 hours.



Challen, an office manager also of Claygate, Surrey, appeared in court flanked by a security guard, wearing a black sweatshirt.



Her voice seemed to shake as District Judge Clive Wiles asked her to confirm her details.



Mr Challen, a retired owner of a car dealership, died of severe blunt force trauma to the head, a post-mortem examination showed.



His two sons said earlier this week in a statement released through police: "This is an incredibly difficult time for us and we would like to thank the family and friends who have come forward and offered their support over the last few days.



"There has been a lot of speculation as a result of our father's death which has caused us additional distress and we would ask that we are now left in private as we try to deal with what has happened."



The couple are understood to have split up around a year ago. Mr Challen sold his car dealership, Westlake Garages in Richmond, south west London, when he retired in August 2008.



He received a 51-week prison term suspended for 18 months in 2006 when he crashed his Ferrari at a racetrack in Belgium then invented a hit-and-run accident to claim £35,000 for repairs.



The businessman tried the con because his wife had forgotten to send a fax to his insurers to get cover for the event.



The then 57-year-old told police a lorry hit the 183mph Berlinetta near his home but he confessed when his insurers became suspicious.



He pleaded guilty at Guildford Crown Court to attempting to obtain goods by deception.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border