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  1. ITV Report

Women challenging murder convictions after Sally Challen case

Ten months after Sally Challen's successful criminal appeal, the group who campaigned to overturn her murder conviction are supporting two other women challenging their murder convictions.

Justice For Women placard Credit: ITV News

Sally, from Claygate in Surrey, had her murder conviction reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of having suffered years of domestic abuse.

Sally Challen with her son David at press conference in June 2019 Credit: PA

Today, a woman serving a life sentence for stabbing her ex-partner to death will appeal her murder conviction.

Farieissia Martin stabbed Kyle Farrell, 21, during a row at her home in Charlecote Street, Dingle, Liverpool, in November 2014.

The mother-of-two was jailed for at least 13 years after being found guilty of murder at Liverpool Crown Court in June 2015.

Farieissia Martin Credit: Merseyside Police

Martin, who was 22 at the time of her conviction, is bringing a bid to have her conviction overturned at the Court of Appeal in London, supported by the campaign group Justice for Women.

Three judges will hear her case on Tuesday, when her lawyers will argue there is fresh medical evidence relating to her mental state at the time of the killing.

Justice for Women says the evidence supports a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder caused by violence she had been subjected to by Farrell.

The campaign group is also supporting an appeal by Emma-Jayne Magson, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of her partner James Knight.

Referring to Martin and Magson's cases, solicitor Harriet Wistrich - who is representing Martin and also acted for Sally Challen - said:

We hope the growing understanding of how domestic violence and coercive and controlling behaviour can trap women in very abusive relationships will assist the appeals of two women who, at most, should have been convicted of manslaughter not murder.

Both vulnerable women killed in desperate circumstances, yet at trial the context for their actions was not properly understood or explained, resulting in serious miscarriages of justice.

– Harriet Wistrich, Solicitor

Justice for Women is supporting a research project on women who kill abusive partners, which is being carried out by the Centre for Women's Justice charity.

The group argues that many women who have killed violent partners are wrongly convicted of murder because the criminal justice system has failed to keep up with society's understanding of coercive control.