Wife who killed abusive husband recalls horrific ordeal following prison release
Sally Challen, who was jailed for murdering her husband with a hammer, saw her offences quashed after suffering years of mental abuse and hopes her story will raise awareness.
A wife who bludgeoned her husband to death has spoken about her ordeal for the first time since becoming a free woman.
Sally Challen was able to be reunited with her kids after nine years in prison when her murder charge was quashed on the grounds of ‘diminished responsibility’ after suffering mental abuse at the hands of her controlling husband.
Speaking exclusively to Good Morning Britain, Mrs Challen said she met her future husband when she was just 15 and described him as "very charismatic" in the beginning but he slowly became more controlling and she even handed over her salary.
Sally said she didn't realise she was being controlled or abused until she went to prison.
"When I was on remand, I did a programme called the freedom programme and it talked about physical abuse and mental abuse. I found it very difficult to sit through and I would often leave the class in tears because it was resonating."
Recalling the moment she snapped, she said: " I took the hammer from my bag and I hit him. I have no recollection of putting a hammer in the bag but I accept that I did.
"They say I hit him 18 times. I can't believe I was capable of doing that. I remember I covered this body with a blanket.
"I didn’t want David to come round the house and see. I wasn't going to hide it but I didn’t want that to be his last memory.
"I put a note on his body which said 'I love you'."
She was jailed in 2011 but was freed June this year, following a law change in 2015 that made coercive control a criminal offence, and her conviction was reduced to manslaughter.
Now she wants to educate women about controlling relationships.
She said: "I feel like I want to tell my story, to make people aware of what coercive control is, and what can happen in an extreme case"