Mrs Challen was able to appeal her murder conviction following a change in the law in 2015 which recognised psychological manipulation, or coercive control, as a form of domestic abuse and a crime.Judges ruled that new evidence from a psychiatrist that she was suffering from two mental disorders at the time of the killing undermined the safety of her conviction.Her murder conviction was quashed following a psychiatric report which concluded she was suffering from an “adjustment disorder” at the time of the killing, the lesser charge of manslaughter was yesterday accepted by the CPS.Mrs Challen, a former Police Federation office manager, who has been on bail since April, has always denied murdering the car dealer, but was convicted following a trial and sentenced to 22 years behind bars. Her sentence was later reduced by four years on appeal.Mrs Challen was released on conditional bail in April almost ten years after she was sentenced for his murder at Guildford Crown Court in 2011. A mother who bludgeoned her abusive husband to death in a hammer attack has revealed that she “still loves him” after walking free from court.Georgina Challen, known as Sally, 65, said she killed 61-year-old Richard Challen in the kitchen of their Surrey home in August 2010 after decades of being coerced and humiliated by him. She had been in prison for almost a decade.However, following a string of unprecedented legal wranglings at the country’s highest courts, Mrs Challen finally walked out of the Old Bailey as a free woman after Mr Justice Edis sentenced her to nine years and four months in jail – time she has already served in custody.The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today accepted her plea of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.“I still love Richard and I wish that none of this had happened,” she said in an emotional press conference, flanked by her family, legal team and the Justice for Women campaign group.She described her ordeal as a “long road” and said that her family “served my sentence with me”, adding: “Many other women who are victims of abuse and violence are in prison today serving life sentences, and I know this because I have met them. “I’ve had therapy to try and explain it. Five years of therapy. “Richard was a salesman and he could charm birds out of trees. He’d done sales all his life. I met Richard when I was 15 and he was 21.”The court heard the description of their relationship, was summed up by one of Mrs Challen’s relatives, as: “Richard pulled the strings, and Sally danced.”Mrs Challen, who described herself in police interviews as being made to feel like “a meek little mouse”, and her husband had been married for 31 years when she “flipped”, pulled a hammer from her handbag and hit him over the head 20 times in the kitchen of their £1million Surrey home on 14 August 2010. He had been unfaithful to her for years while manipulating and controlling her.She had an abortion aged just 17, and after discovering he was cheating on her, took an overdose which left her hospitalised. After approaching her husband from behind while he ate lunch, she battered him with a hammer  before driving Beachy Head, a notorious suicide sport in East Sussex, where she told a chaplain who arrived as part of an intervention team: “I killed him with a hammer. I hit him lots of times. If I can’t have him, no-one can.”She had appeared in the dock for the hearing at the Old Bailey today, overlooked by her sons David, 31, and James Challen, 35, other relatives and a public gallery packed with women’s rights campaigners.When Mr Justice Edis announced that he was going to impose a substantial custodial sentence – which she had already served – there were cheers from spectators. Show more “They have suffered abuse and other miscarriages of justice and should be serving sentences for manslaughter and not murder.”A tearful Mrs Challen, who still wears her wedding ring, later told The Telegraph:  “I loved the ideal of Richard if that makes sense. I suppose it doesn’t make sense She had to buy her own wedding ring, he posed on a Ferrari next to top models and had the photo made into a Christmas card sent to their mutual friends and he made “humiliating comments” about her weight and criticised her “at all turns”. It was only when she saw a news item about a brothel she believed her husband frequented having trafficked women inside that she resolved to leave him in 2009.However she always returned because, the court heard, “she had no identity of her own”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.

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