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Woman in court over murder charge

A woman has appeared in court accused of murdering her estranged husband.

Sally Challen, 56, is alleged to have bludgeoned Richard Challen to death at his home in Claygate, near Esher, Surrey.

The 61-year-old was found dead on Sunday after he suffered "severe blunt force trauma to the head", Surrey Police said.

Challen, who was arrested on Sunday after she was persuaded to leave the edge of cliffs at Beachy Head, East Sussex, spoke only to confirm her name, address and date of birth during the three-minute hearing at Staines Magistrates' Court.

She was remanded in custody and will appear at Guildford Crown Court by Friday.

Challen, an office manager also of Claygate, Surrey, appeared in court flanked by a security guard, wearing a black sweatshirt. Her voice seemed to shake as District Judge Clive Wiles asked her to confirm her details.

Mr Challen, a retired owner of a car dealership, died of severe blunt force trauma to the head, a post-mortem examination showed.

His two sons said earlier this week in a statement released through police: "This is an incredibly difficult time for us and we would like to thank the family and friends who have come forward and offered their support over the last few days.

"There has been a lot of speculation as a result of our father's death which has caused us additional distress and we would ask that we are now left in private as we try to deal with what has happened."

The couple are understood to have split up around a year ago. Mr Challen sold his car dealership, Westlake Garages in Richmond, south west London, when he retired in August 2008.


From Belfast Telegraph