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22 years

(16 Posts)
stubbornhubby Fri 24-Jun-11 13:58:27

Anyone else follow this case?

and plenty of other coverage via google

this is a particularly bizarre bit -- the 'post-nuptial' agreement he made her sign. It sounds like plenty of MN threads I have read.

but she didn't plead provocation, only dimished responsibility.

22 years. that seems a ridiculosly long sentence. I think the biggest problem was that she took the hammer from her own house to his, and then killed him with it.

LilBB Fri 24-Jun-11 14:15:45

I have never heard of a post nuptial agreement but it screams abusive/controlling husband to me.

dittany Fri 24-Jun-11 14:47:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sakura Fri 24-Jun-11 15:03:59

Why did it make the papers? Two women a week are murdered by their husbands and you hardly ever hear about it. Most people don't even know shock

PurpleStrawberry Fri 24-Jun-11 17:38:35

As she took the hammer to his house, clearly with the aim to kill him, it was premeditated murder. That is the reason for the sentence.

Tyr Fri 24-Jun-11 18:07:57

PurpleStrawberry Fri 24-Jun-11 17:38:35

"As she took the hammer to his house, clearly with the aim to kill him, it was premeditated murder. That is the reason for the sentence."

Furthermore, her actions following the murder indicate an utter lack of remorse:

"After the attack, Challen cleaned herself up, tidied the dishes away and covered her husband's body with old curtains."

The sentence is appropriate.

seekingjustice Sat 25-Jun-11 12:50:35

Hmmm... premeditation does not preclude diminished responsibility: a schizophrenic might make elaborate preparations for days to murder a complete stranger, but it would still be manslaughter not murder as he would not be fully responsible for his actions. "Premeditation" is not a test for murder these days and has not been for decades. Even if it was, there would still be a partial defence of diminished responsibility available in the appropriate circumstances.

It sounds like this woman had no intention of "getting away with" what she had done - she made no attempt to hide it and made a full immediate confession. To my mind, she must either have been a bit mad (diminished rep) and/or there must be a lot more to the domestic abuse that didn't come out in the trial...

Even if she was in her right mind and so fully responsible for murdering her DH, it seems like a waste of money (as well as another life) to be keeping her in top security jail in her seventies - do they have the facilities to care for someone who is ageing? - and the only danger she poses to anyone is to herself..... Surely 10 years would have been enough, until she is 67? Baby P's sadistic killer only got 10 years, but that was before the new statutory minimum sentences were brought in.

Hmmm...lack of remorse - covering up the body, leaving a note saying "I love you" and putting a cushion under his head to "make him more comfortable" is not exactly a sign that there is remorse, but nor is it a sign that she was jolly glad about what she did. It's the illogical, bit mad action of someone in complete shock.

sunshineandbooks Sat 25-Jun-11 13:04:16

Without knowing all the details of the case I wouldn't like to comment on the premeditation, though I will say that 22 years seems excessive when compared to the sentence handed out to Baby P's killers like seekingjustice pointed out.

What bothers me most is the coverage this gets when as sakura says 2 women a week are murdered by their partners. sad I know the fact that is unusual is partly what's made it 'news' but it plays into the belief that "women are just as bad" when that is definitely not the case.

I also feel that it's not making excuses for murder to acknowledge that our system fails women and it is not surprising that some of them crack and take matters into their own hands. If DV were stamped out, if some men didn't treat their partners as inferior, maybe a few less women would snap. Maybe the miracle is that more women don't.

seekingjustice Sat 25-Jun-11 14:17:48

The 22 years was as a result of statutory minimum sentences introduced last year and taking away the judge's discretion. A one size fits all solution. But it makes no sense in the case of a woman nearing retirement age and of no danger to anyone other than herself. Can prisons even cope with the very elderly?

The government was going to reverse this position (yes, primarily to save money but then we need to) and give back discretion to judges but u-turned last week on the back of the furore over the 50% reduction for guilty plea proposals.

Tyr Sat 25-Jun-11 16:49:06

The idea that a person (regardless of gender) who bludgeons another person(regardless of gender) to death with a hammer is no risk to anyone but themselves is preposterous.
Premeditation does not preclude diminished responsibility but that will have been weighed by the court and a jury of her peers.
She was guilty. Of murder. Plain and simple.
Had the genders of victim and perpetrator been reversed, I suspect there would have been few protests at the sentence.

OrangeHat Sat 25-Jun-11 17:04:32

I think the reason that people are surprised by the length of the sentence is that is seems out of kilter compared to the sentences that get handed down to other people. I seem to read a lot about terrible crimes and can't remember seeing one as long as this - I'm usually shocked by how little time people get.

So it's relative I guess - how does this compare to others who do stuff like this - and my gut feeling is that she has got a lot longer than I normally read about for serious crimes.

OrangeHat Sat 25-Jun-11 17:05:58

Well I mean obviously someone like Levi Bellfield gets a long long time but surely he is a more serious criminal than this woman?

I think this story has just reminded me of another actually hold on

OrangeHat Sat 25-Jun-11 17:09:12

For eg this man got 4.5 years

OrangeHat Sat 25-Jun-11 17:12:11

I remembered that one as I think there was a thread about it at the time.

Tyr Sat 25-Jun-11 17:21:21

Apart from anything else, his sentence was for wounding with intent, not murder. I remember a case from a few years back when a woman who murdered a violent husband served no jail time.
They are all different and press reporting does not do justice to all the facts.

OrangeHat Sat 25-Jun-11 17:27:35

The gist though, from the POV of an ordinary person who reads the news sites (ie someone like me) is that this sentence is far far longer than people ordinarily get for this type of crime.

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