In 2015 new laws were passed criminalising controlling and coercive behaviour, but back in 2015 when Sally Challen was convicted for her husband’s murder the law did not recognise the impact that such behaviour had on an individual’s actions.
Given the acceptance in recent years that psychological manipulation is a form of domestic abuse the legal team for Sally Challen are pursuing an appeal to be listed in February 2019 at which it is to be argued that the history of psychological abuse by her husband provides a defence of provocation.
This will be the first time this matter has been argued before the Court of Appeal and if successful the Court may reduce the conviction to manslaughter or order a full re-trial to take place. It could also open up the possibility for many other appeals on murder convictions in which controlling and coercive behaviour features.
At Emery Johnson Astills we have a wealth of experience in dealing with domestic related offences involving controlling and coercive behaviour and appeals at all stages of the criminal justice system. We are alert to potential changes in legislation and precedents set by the higher courts. For further information and advice in relation to these offences and criminal appeal matters, including the availability of legal aid funding for such cases, please contact the criminal defence team in Leicester on 0116 2554855, or in Loughborough on 01509 610312.