Tuesday, August 17, 2010
'He kept having affairs, seeing prostitutes'
17 August 2010, 08:08
A millionaire Ferrari enthusiast was killed by his wife with a hammer because of his serial womanising, it was claimed on Monday night.
Sally Challen, 56, is said to have screamed: "I can't live with you and I can't live without you" before attacking her businessman husband Richard.
She then drove more than 112 km to Beachy Head - a notorious seaside suicide spot - and threatened to kill herself.
During a tense three-hour stand-off with specialist police officers, the mother of two is said to have confessed to the killing before being coaxed away from the cliff edge.
The couple's marriage broke down last year because Mr Challen "kept having affairs and seeing prostitutes", neighbours said on Monday.
But in recent weeks they decided to try to save their marriage and even went on a romantic dinner date on Saturday night.
The following morning, Mrs Challen discovered her 61-year-old husband was still seeing other women and attacked him with a hammer, a source said.
It happened at the couple's £1million five-bedroom home on the same street as Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones in Claygate, Surrey.
On her way to Beachy Head, in East Sussex, Mrs Challen made a desperate phone call to her cousin Noel Anderson claiming she was going to jump off the 161m cliff.
He called the police as soon as the call ended. Officers from Surrey Police broke into the couple's home and discovered Mr Challen's body just after 1pm on Sunday.
The couple, who were married for 31 years, have two sons in their 20s - James and David.
On Monday one neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "It was well known that he had an eye for the ladies.
"She moved out of the family home last year into a smaller house on a new estate half a mile away because he kept having affairs and seeing prostitutes.
"But they were giving it another go. I saw Sally helping Richard clear some boxes out of their shed and then they went on a dinner date on Saturday.
"The next day it was tense again. She was screaming: "I can't live with you and I can't live without you".
Hours later police turn up in four cars and batter the door down."
Mr Challen, a former estate agent, was a Ferrari enthusiast who ran a second-hand car dealership for 23 years in Richmond, South-West London, before retiring due to ill health.
He owned a £90 000 Ferrari Berlinetta with a top speed of 183mph, which he crashed racing at a Formula 1 circuit in Belgium in 2005.
He was convicted of fraud after claiming £35,000 worth of damage had been caused by a hit-and-run with a lorry, and given a suspended sentence.
He came up with the plan because his wife had forgotten to fax his insurers to get cover for the event. Retired accountant Tim Lewis, a friend of the Challens and fellow Ferrari enthusiast, said: "I am shocked. They'd been separated for about 18 months.
"He would talk to me about things while Sally would talk about their problems to my wife Maggie.
"They weren't communicating properly for a long time. But I met him for lunch a week ago and he told me things were better between them and that they were going to try to make a go of it again."
Mrs Challen's brother Terence Jenney on Monday described her as a "very gentle person".
He said: "I knew of nothing to suggest that this might happen. It is very upsetting and a massive shock for the whole family."
Paul Arulendran, who bought Westlake Garages from Mr Challen, said he was a "gentleman".
"He used to come in every month to help and give advice even though he no longer ran the place," he said.
"But he was very down when his wife left him. He kept saying "what am I going to do" I am so lonely?"
On Monday night Mrs Challen, an office support worker at the Police Federation of England and Wales, remained in custody after being arrested on suspicion of murder.
A Surrey Police spokesman said: "Police officers and chaplains managed to escort a 56-year-old Surrey woman to safety from the cliff edge at Beachy Head, after talking to her for more than three hours on Sunday afternoon."- Daily Mail
Comments by Sonny
MP's in the Ferrarri Club, heed this good advice!