The sons of a woman who killed her husband in a hammer attack have launched a public appeal for her murder charge to be downgraded and have accused the CPS of “discrimination against women”.
Sally Challen, 65, was jailed for life for the murder of her husband, Richard, 61, after a trial at Guildford Crown Court.
Last week, in a landmark case at the Court of Appeal in London, her conviction was quashed and a retrial ordered.
The court ruled that evidence she was suffering from two mental disorders at the time of the killing undermined the safety of her conviction. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has 28 days to formally reindict Mrs Challen for murder.
Now her sons, David, 31, and James, 35, are launching an appeal for the CPS to drop the murder charge, saying that violent men are “often offered reduced pleas”.
In his first interview since the court case, her youngest son, who has become the family’s spokesman, said he was launching an online petition via Change.org, appealing to the public to implore the CPS to accept a manslaughter plea from his mother, which would ultimately result in her release because of time served.
David Challen, an account manager said he was launching the campaign on International Women’s Day in conjunction with Justice for Women, the charity, “to make a real statement to stand up for women who are discriminated against in the criminal justice system”.
He implored prosecutors to consider Mrs Challen’s age, time already served, emotions of all the family and the “waste of taxpayer money” a further trial would bring, as well as examples where reduced pleas were offered to men, which he called “discriminatory”.