A chilling new BBC documentary based on a real-life criminal case that gripped the nation back in 2010 is on its way, and we have just been given a first look teaser.
The Case of Sally Challen will unfold the story of Sally Challen, a 65-year-old mum-of-two from Surrey, who was given a life sentence after beating her 61-year-old husband, Richard Challen, to death with a hammer following decades of being controlled by him.
The incident took place in August 2010 and made headlines immediately, especially after Sally launched an appeal against her life sentence in which she stated Richard’s ‘coercive control‘ as a defence.
As shown in the new trailer, The Case of Sally Challen will feature the couple’s son David who opens up about coming to terms with the fact that his mother murdered his father and facing his dad’s damaging abusive behaviour.
‘I had discovered the extent of the abuse after he died,’ he says in the short clip, filmed just four days after his mother’s appeal was accepted. ‘I didn’t have the word abuse because I couldn’t call it abuse, nor would I acknowledge it as abuse because I didn’t know that’s what it was. But I do know the way he treated her was horrible.’
David’s partner also features in the teaser, where he explains the impact the case has had on him and the difficult position he was put in. ‘When he first told me, it was genuinely the night I first met him,’ he recounts. ‘We were talking and he explained what had happened, and the thing he said was, he’d lost one parent and he didn’t want to lose another.’
Sally’s defence didn’t just accuse Richard of controlling behaviour, but she also recalled him humiliating her and even raping her as a punishment. While she eventually walked free from court, the documentary highlights the difficult road along the way.
Speaking at a press conference at the time of her release from prison earlier this year, she said: ‘I met many women in prison who shouldn’t be there. Getting an appeal is very difficult. I was turned down on the first attempt. The justice system needs to listen.’
The Case Of Sally Challen airs on BBC Two, tonight (Monday) at 9pm.