Sally Challen: Wife who killed abusive husband can inherit his estate, judge rules

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A mother-of-two who won an appeal battle after killing her controlling husband can inherit his estate, a judge has ruled.

Sally Challen, who is in her mid-60s, was given a mandatory life sentence in 2011 after being convicted of murdering 61-year-old Richard Challen in August 2010.

She was freed last year after winning an appeal fight.

Judge Paul Matthews has now decided that Mrs Challen, of Claygate, Surrey, can inherit his estate.

He concluded that a rule barring people who kill from inheriting their victim's estate should be waived in Mrs Challen's case.

The judge, who analysed arguments about Mrs Challen's inheritance claim at a High Court hearing in Bristol earlier this month, announced his decision in a ruling published on Wednesday.

Mrs Challen had been given a life term after being convicted of murder following a trial at Guildford Crown Court in summer 2011.

Appeal judges quashed that murder conviction in February last year and ordered a new trial.

A judge had been due to oversee a new trial but Mrs Challen was released in June following a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey, after prosecutors accepted her plea to manslaughter.

Mr Justice Edis imposed a new sentence of nine years and four months for manslaughter, but concluded that she had already served her time.

Press Association