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Woman accused of killing husband granted bail ahead of fresh murder trial

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

Supporters of Georgina Challen outside the Royal Courts of Justice (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Supporters of Georgina Challen outside the Royal Courts of Justice (Jonathan Brady/PA)

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, admitted the manslaughter of 61-year-old Richard Challen on August 14 2010, but pleaded not guilty to murder during a hearing at the Old Bailey.

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

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Georgina Challen, known as Sally, was granted bail (Surrey Police/PA)

But her conviction was quashed and a new trial ordered at the Court of Appeal in London in February, in light of new evidence.

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

Wearing a black blouse, she spoke to confirm her identity and enter her plea. She wiped away tears, as Mr Justice Edis considered an application for conditional bail.

The judge granted Challen conditional bail following an application by defence lawyer Clare Wade QC.

He said the defendant should be released from custody on Saturday from 12 noon.

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Richard Challen died in 2010 (Surrey Police/PA)

Challen was supported in court by her sons David and James Challen, who became emotional on hearing their mother would be released.

The judge 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”.

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

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Son David Challen at the Old Bailey (Jonathan Brady/PA)

As they left court, Challen’s sons smiled and expressed relief that their mother would soon be freed.

PA

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