A woman who served nine years in jail for her husband’s murder before her conviction was quashed has been reunited with her sons.
Sally Challen’s son David released a picture on Twitter of them and brother James after their mother’s release.
Mrs Challen, 65, was found guilty of murdering 61-year-old Richard in a hammer attack at their home in Claygate, Surrey and jailed in 2011.
Mrs Challen will now face a fresh trial after being bailed on Friday.
Her conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal in February, following a campaign by her two sons. She admitted killing her husband in August 2010, but denied murder.
On Friday, Mr Justice Edis set a further hearing for 7 June and a trial date for 1 July “if necessary”.
‘Overjoyed about release’
Mr Challen, 31, posted a photograph of himself with his mother and brother James, 35, on Twitter on Saturday.
He wrote: “First day home with our mother after 9 years in prison.”
Speaking outside the Old Bailey on Friday, he said he was “overjoyed” about her release, adding: “Our mother now rejoins our family.”
Writing on Twitter after his mother walked out of the prison in Ashford, Surrey, later that day, he said: “Everyone at HMP Bronzefield have been so lovely to us.”
During the two-day appeal hearing in February, the court heard evidence relating to Mrs Challen’s state of mind at the time of the killing and the issue of “coercive control”.
Coercive control describes a pattern of behaviour by an abuser to harm, punish or frighten their victim and became a criminal offence in England and Wales in December 2015.
The murder conviction was overturned by three judges who said the evidence of a psychiatrist, that Mrs Challen was suffering from two mental disorders at the time of the killing, was not available at the time of her trial and undermined the safety of her conviction.
At Friday’s hearing, lawyers for Mrs Challen, who has never denied killing her husband, asked for the murder conviction to be reduced to manslaughter but the panel of judges refused and ordered a retrial.
Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice after the conviction was quashed, David said: “The abuse our mother suffered, we felt, was never recognised properly and her mental conditions were not taken into account.”