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Sally Challen freed as she awaits murder trial after pleading guilty to husband’s manslaughter

A woman accused of killing her husband in a hammer attack wept in court as she was granted bail ahead of a fresh murder trial.

Georgina Challen, known as Sally, pleaded guilty to manslaughter over the killing 61-year-old Richard Challen on August 14 2010 but pleaded not guilty to murder.

She now awaits retrial after her first appearance at the Old Bailey since her conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal.

She was expected to be freed on Saturday but was released earlier on Friday.

Speaking outside court, her son David said: "Today we are overjoyed that bail has been granted for our mother and she will be now released back to us. Our mother now rejoins our family."

Asked what it will be like when she walks out of prison on Saturday, he said: "It's a massive moment."

He added: "It's a happy day for us, we get to see her again."

Mr Challen later said he had been reunited with his mother after she was released from prison, in a reply on Twitter to Spice Girl Melanie Brown.

The pop star tweeted: "I'm soooo happy for your family."

And Mr Challen replied: "Thanks Mel! We just picked her up! She's in the car with me right now!!!"

His mother was jailed for life for the murder of the former car dealer following a trial at Guildford Crown Court in 2011.

But her conviction was quashed and a retrial ordered at the Court of Appeal in London in February, in light of new evidence relating to Challen’s state of mind at the time of the killing and the issue of “coercive control”.

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Richard Challen, who was killed by his wife Georgina Challen, known as Sally Credit: Surrey Police/PA

Challen, 65, of Claygate, Surrey, who has been held at HMP Bronzefield, appeared at the Old Bailey by 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”.

avid Challen says his mother faced years of coercive control from their father. Credit: David Challen

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

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