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Murder or manslaughter

(82 Posts)
Rivernana Sun 15-Dec-19 17:45:42

What are your opinions on the Sally Challen case? Was it right to overturn her conviction for murder? Not many people (men or women) in abusive relationships go so far as to kill their abuser.

Smileless2012 Sun 15-Dec-19 17:53:08

I believe it was the right decision in this case. She'd suffered years of abuse at the hands of her husband and was living in fear of what might happen in the future.

Kill or be killed perhaps.

oldgimmer1 Sun 15-Dec-19 18:20:32

I disagree with it, personally.

In my view, it was a premeditated act; she went equipped to kill and bludgeoned her victim in a gratuitously violent way.

As far as I understand it, the grounds for reducing her sentence to manslaughter was based on the notion that she was suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness at the time of the attack which gave her the diminished responsibility.

A change in the law meant that she could use this as new evidence.

She asked for a retrial, which was granted, but the CPS decided that the murder conviction should be dropped to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility without her having to be retried. Not sure why the retrial was dropped (unless the CPS feared she'd be found guilty of murder again perhaps? )

Anniebach Sun 15-Dec-19 18:42:22

They had been seperate for a year, she went to his home to discuss a reconciliation and took a hammer with her .

endlessstrife Sun 15-Dec-19 18:52:39

I don’t know the case, but sounds like it was premeditated if she went back after a year with a hammer. Makes it murder, completely understandable, but murder nonetheless.

Urmstongran Sun 15-Dec-19 18:54:25

He treated her like dirt. She put up with it because she had no self worth. She clung to him even though he was having affairs which she knew about. Then she snapped.

How to judge? Murder, probably.

sodapop Sun 15-Dec-19 19:16:52

I found it hard to engage with either of them. Sally Challoner did not inspire any sympathy for some reason. I understand how her husband's behaviour impacted on her over many years. I think manslaughter was probably the right verdict.

Ilovecheese Sun 15-Dec-19 19:31:48

I too think manslaughter was the correct verdict. I think the many years of abuse had put her in such a muddle that she hardly knew what she was doing. She still seemed a bit zoned out after she was free.

EllanVannin Sun 15-Dec-19 19:42:19

The woman snapped, simple as that. After having suffered years of mental torment and was never known to have a violent nature the verdict had to be manslaughter as it would never have been her intent to " murder " the man she had loved.

Urmstongran Sun 15-Dec-19 19:54:09

But EV she said she attacked him because no one else could then have him. She took a hammer with her. Premeditated.

MerylStreep Sun 15-Dec-19 20:01:13

During her trail I was 100% behind her and over the moon when she was released. But watching the documentary I started to have second thoughts.

If you carry a weapon you intend to use it, either consciously or unconsciously. If that hammer had been laying on the worktop and she just saw red and lost it I could understand.
I would not liked to have been on the jury.

Smileless2012 Sun 15-Dec-19 20:04:29

Stockholm syndrome!! Being totally dependant and in her case 'in love' with her captor and abuser. Yes, they were living apart but emotionally I doubt she could ever have been free of him.

Hetty58 Sun 15-Dec-19 20:12:41

The question is whether she took the hammer with the intention of killing him. She may well have taken it to defend herself, hurt him or attack another person - in which case it would be manslaughter.

Anniebach Sun 15-Dec-19 20:16:22

If they were discussing reconciliation why would she think she needed to defend herself

Iam64 Sun 15-Dec-19 20:18:38

What Smileless said. She should never have been convicted of murder. Balance of her mind disturbed

It's another of those cases where a woman is treated more harshly than a man would probably have been. Look at all the cases where en are convicted of manslaughter because eg. their victim had an affair/tormented them about their behaviour etc

The support she's had from her sons says it all really.

Sussexborn Sun 15-Dec-19 20:33:56

If he had a history of unprovoked violence she possibly felt she needed to protect herself. Hard to understand why she would want to reconcile with him. Human emotions are very puzzling sometimes.

EllanVannin Sun 15-Dec-19 20:44:22

Urmstongran it would have been classed as her having diminished responsibility---the reason the CPS had changed the charge from murder to manslaughter.
Apparently her medical evidence wasn't presented at her original trial which would have showed that the woman was mentally unwell.

Hetty58 Sun 15-Dec-19 20:44:26

The victim often firmly believes that the problem is due to their own behaviour. They think it's their fault for upsetting the violent one!

Smileless2012 Sun 15-Dec-19 20:47:55

As is usually the case in all abusive relationships Hettysad 'you made me do it'.

Oopsminty Sun 15-Dec-19 20:49:10

He wasn't physically violent

Smileless2012 Sun 15-Dec-19 20:51:35

You don't have to be physically violent to abuse, manipulate, control and destroy another human being.

Iam64 Sun 15-Dec-19 20:54:12

Yes, mental abuse can be as devastating as physical violence. The woman was mentally ill as a result of her treatment. Stockholme syndrome puts it most simply.

BlueBelle Sun 15-Dec-19 20:56:32

Look I haven’t read up on the case but I have personal experience and have worked with many abused women I know of NO ONE who has killed or even come close to thinking of killing their abuser once they ve managed to leave If she got away from an abusive relationship why did she go back to talk to him with a hammer in her bag Sounds totally premeditated to me
hette who walks around with a hammer in their bag to defend themselves ? If she’s that frightened of him she wouldn’t be meeting him a year later yes it’s very hard to get away from a controlling abuser but once away most women would want to stay away that’s why they go to refuges for safety

pinkquartz Sun 15-Dec-19 20:59:44

Yes i think it was right. But it is a big reason to not put up with a bad marriage.
She married far too young and couldn't face being alone.
She had buried all her true emotions for a lifetime. never a good plan.

Smileless2012 Sun 15-Dec-19 21:00:55

Then you'll be aware Bluebell that many women, despite finding safety in refuges do go back to their abuser.