Sally Challen: Mother awaiting fresh trial for murder of her husband in landmark case granted conditional bail

Sixty-five-year-old pleads guilty to manslaughter but denies murdering her husband in 2010

Jon Sharman
Friday 05 April 2019 11:25
Georgina Challen, known as Sally, has been bailed
Georgina Challen, known as Sally, has been bailed

Georgina Challen, known as Sally, has been granted conditional bail at the Old Bailey as she awaits a fresh trial for the murder of her husband Richard.

The 65-year-old will be released on Saturday afternoon on the orders of Mr Justice Edis.

Earlier on Friday, Challen pleaded guilty to manslaughter over the killing of her husband Richard, 61, with a hammer in 2010, but denied murder.

She was jailed for life at Guildford Crown Court in 2011 after being convicted of the car dealer’s murder, but her conviction was quashed when the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial in February this year.

It followed the emergence of new evidence relating to Challen’s state of mind at the time of the killing and the issue of “coercive control”.

Challen, of Claygate in Surrey, has been detained at HMP Bronzefield. She appeared at the Old Bailey over a video link on Friday.

Wearing a black blouse, she spoke to confirm her identity and enter her plea.

Mr Justice Edis confirmed the trial would be transferred to the Old Bailey as he set a timetable for the case.

Prosecutor Joel Smith pointed out the size of the public gallery in Court One, saying it was a better venue “given the attention this matter has attracted so far”.

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Challen, a former Police Federation worker, was supported in court by her son, David Challen.

Mr Justice Edis set a further hearing for 7 June and a trial on 1 July “if necessary”.

Additional reporting by PA