It is not in the public interest to make Sally Challen go through another trial for murder
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It is not in the public interest to make Sally Challen and us (her sons) go through another trial for murder. Stop discriminating against women and take domestic abuse seriously.
Please sign this petition asking the CPS to accept a plea of guilty to manslaughter and support our continued fight for justice.
On Thursday 28th February our mother, Sally Challen, had her conviction for the murder of our father, Richard Challen, quashed in a landmark decision by the Court of Appeal in light of fresh evidence not available at the time of her trial. The three appeal court judges had the option of substituting murder with manslaughter. If they had it is highly likely our mother would have walked free that day. However, the Crown Prosecution Service insisted that Sally goes through a re-trial.
Sally is now 65 and has been in prison for nearly nine years. Prior to the offence itself, she had never committed a violent act or criminal offence and since she has been in prison, her record has been exemplary. As the sons of both our parents we know more than anyone about the coercive and controlling behaviour of our father towards our mother over a forty-year relationship and of the impact this had on her mental health. We have lost a father and we do not seek to justify our mother’s action, but we believe the background circumstances are such that our mother does not deserve to be punished any further.
It is within the power of the CPS to offer Sally the opportunity to plead guilty to manslaughter. They do this often in cases where men kill their partners. This would avoid a re-trial which will force not only our mother but both of us, as prosecution witnesses, to relive the events of the original murder trial.
It is not only us but every one of Sally and Richard’s surviving family as well as all the friends who knew them as a couple (some of who will be called as witnesses in a re-trial) that support our campaign for Justice for Sally. It is only the CPS support the re-trial. We are supported by Justice for Women (JfW) as well as every key domestic violence charity in the UK and many MPs. Below, JfW highlight a number of cases where the CPS show greater leniency to men with a history of domestic violence who have killed women.
Sally has already served the equivalent of a seventeen-year fixed term sentence for manslaughter. A further re-trial will cost the public purse tens of thousands of pounds – it is simply not in the public interest to pursue this case against a woman who represents no danger to society.
James & David Challen
From the Centre for Women's Justice:
Stop CPS discrimination towards women
The CPS often offer reduced pleas to violent men, here are some recent examples:
Rhys Hobbs killed Andrea Lewis following a history of domestic abuse for which he showed little remorse. At his trial in 2016, the murder charge was reduced to manslaughter and he was sentenced to 8 years (increased on appeal to 12 and a half years). History of violence, no remorse: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-37618934
Dean Jones, who had a history of violence, killed his partner Alison Farr-Davies, charged with murder, but allowed to pleaded guilty to Manslaughter. Sentenced to 13.5 years. History of violence https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4320812/Dean-Jones-jailed-killing-partner-Alison-Farr-Davies.html
Jourdain John-Baptiste died following a fall from the seventh-floor balcony of her home. She has been heard arguing with her boyfriend and then screaming for help just before falling. Her boyfriend has not been charged with any offence despite advice from an independent prosecutor that there was sufficient evidence. The CPS are currently resisting a judicial review challenge of their decision - https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/justice-for-jourdain/
In the meantime, evidence has emerged recently of an alarming and dramatic drop in the prosecution of men for rape. In the last couple of years such prosecutions have fallen by 23%.
We call on the CPS to end the blatant discrimination against women and to apply their Violence against Women strategy fairly and rigorously.
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