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Legalbrief   |   your legal news hub Wednesday 12 August 2020

UK abused women appeals draw wide interest

Two women who killed their partners will appeal their convictions this month, in the first cases of their kind to be heard since Sally Challen successfully challenged her murder conviction on the grounds of having suffered years of domestic abuse. According to a report in The Observer, women’s justice campaigners will be watching the cases of Farieissia Martin and Emma-Jayne Magson closely when they go before the Court of Appeal to see whether the Challen case has had any impact on the criminal justice system. Earlier this year, Challen’s conviction for murdering her husband, Richard, was replaced with one for manslaughter. Her lawyers said she had been abused throughout her marriage, which that they said had not been considered adequately at her original trial. The campaign group Justice for Women, which backed Challen’s appeal, say that many women who have killed their violent partners are wrongly convicted of murder because the criminal justice system has failed to recognise such factors. Martin, whose appeal will be heard today, was 22 and a mother of two small children, when she was convicted of the murder of her partner, Kyle Farrell, in 2015 after stabbing him with a kitchen knife, allegedly during a heated argument in which he attempted to strangle her. Magson, whose appeal will be heard on 10 December, was 23 when she was convicted of murdering her partner, James Knight, with a single stab wound. Her lawyers claim she was suffering from emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) stemming from her childhood exposure to domestic abuse in the family home.