tv Victoria Derbyshire BBC News September 28, 2019 4:30pm-5:01pm BST
‘evening, as the area evening, as the area of low sunday evening, as the area of low pressure pulls away, we get another swathe of strong winds, gusts 45—50 miles per. hello this is bbc news with shaun ley. the headlines. as conservative mps gather for their party conference, the snp say there could be a confidence vote in the government as early as next week, in an attempt to avoid a no—deal brexit. meanwhile downing street reacts angrily as borisjohnson is referred to the police watchdog over his links to an american businesswoman when he was mayor of london. the labour leader, jeremy corbyn, promises to replace the government's controversial welfare policy, universal credit, should they get into power. hosts japan make history by beating ireland for the first time with a stunning 19—12 victory at the rugby world cup. now on bbc news, victoria
derbyshire takes a look at some of the highlights from her programme this week. hello, and welcome to our programme. for the next half an hour, we will bring you some of the exclusive and original journalism we have brought to you last week. first, sally challen told our programme she is sorry she killed her abusive husband. the mum of two grown—up sons struck her husband of 31 years, richard, with a hammer 18 times. she was jailed in 2011 for his murder — four years before coercive control was recognised as a crime. she told us she wants to educate people about what coercive control really means, and help others in situations like hers. just to let you know, the nature of the conversation is graphic, there is strong language — you may not want children to watch.
you have been free from jail for several months now. what has freedom been like? 0h, absolutely amazing. i think the first thing that struck me was that i can open a door and walk out when i want to walk out. my eldest son has got a lovely garden and i can walk around the garden. going to bed when i want, getting up when i want. going to the shops when i want, and i've now got a car so i can drive, which is amazing. why do you want to speak out now? i feel that i have to speak out for other women. i think that the judiciary, the general public who sit on juries, solicitors need to learn about coercive control, and they need to look for it and understand it, because i don't think they do. and i don't think some of them want to open that box. you met richard when
you were a teenager — you were 15, i think... yes. ..he was 22. you were married for 31 years. how did he treat you? when i first met him, i was a 15—year—old schoolgirl in an all—girls' school, and he was charismatic. he was charming, he was attentive. we used to drive up to the king's road for a cup of coffee. and he would take me out to dinner. none of this i'd ever experienced. and he was everything to me, i idolised him. if richard said, "jump," i'd say, "how high?" ijust wanted to please him in any way so he wouldn't leave me. what kind of things did he expect you to do in the home? i was expected to do everything. i cooked, i cleaned, i washed. did he...control you?
yes, he controlled my friends. he made it very difficult for me to get close to anybody. he didn't want anyone coming round. he didn't like it if somebody would knock on the door unannounced, not knowing that they were going to come. and there was a great friend of mine who was due to come for dinner and i'd cooked a pavlova, and he took it, smashed it in the sink, and said, "no, you'll have to cancel." he didn't want me getting close to anybody. did he control your money? yes, he did. when we got married, he took my salary and would just pay me a weekly allowance, which never seemed to change. it seemed to be quite high in the beginning, but it then stayed that amount for years, and sometimes i'd have to borrow money from my mother. so you had to give your earnings to him and he gave you a sum back? yes. how much did he give you each week? he used to give me initially £100 a week. did you have a joint bank account? no.
richard would never have had a joint bank account, ever. why? because he always felt everything was his. that he was the one that had provided everything. he didn't recognise my role at all. he used to belittle you, didn't he, making really horrible comments to you about the way you looked and behaved? yes, he'd talk about my weight... and say what? and he... i can remember him saying when somebody said, "oh, sally seems to have lost a lot of weight." and he said, "oh, you should see her without her clothes on." how did that make you feel? it made me... ifelt degraded. really, really upset. unsure of myself. i didn't know what he wanted from me. and the thinner i got, the more he would say, "well, you've got a long way to go yet." whatever you said or did seemed to be wrong in his eyes.
yes, i could never do anything right. and i was very conscious of everything that i would say to him, to say the right answer. he was very difficult to talk to. he wouldn't listen. if i tried to ask him something, he'd stick his fingers in his ears and say, "la, la, la, la." so, it was very... uncomfortable living with him. did you consider leaving him? i did try to leave him in early 2001 and went to see a solicitor with my cousin. and she wrote to him. and he tore up the letter. so she wrote again, and he tore up the letter. and he said, "i'm not divorcing you, so you can just as well forget it." so i then thought, "well, nobody can help me, so i'lljust continue." and... so you stayed?
i stayed. that was the time i should have left, but i didn't. richard had always cheated on me, even from when we were first going out. but i always hoped that he would change. and you actually witnessed him going into a brothel on one occasion and leaving a brothel. yes. and despite you seeing it with your own eyes, he completely flat—out denied it to you, didn't he? he did. he said i was mad. and he'd just been there to sell someone a car. it's very difficult to describe. it's as though you think you're going mad — "did i really see what i saw? was it really richard going in?" when i knew that he was cheating on me. even my eldest son said, "mum, you're paranoid, he's not doing anything," because he'd spoken to his father who assured him he wasn't.
i want to ask you — if i can — during your marriage, did he rape you? yes. yes, he did. there was an incident when we went to america as a family to stay with an old friend and his wife. we'd all been out that evening. and the friend grabbed me and kissed me. richard walked around the corner, grabbed me, took me into the bedroom, and raped me. i couldn't cry out because the boys were next door. i didn't know what to do, and i didn't sleep all night. and in the morning he disappeared with the boys. and this was really... that was the time when i first tried to divorce him, but failed. i just felt totally humiliated. it was something that i found very difficult to forget. i was always nervous. he would continue to do that
through our marriage. if i didn't want to go to bed with him, he'd make me. how many...? can i ask how many times he raped you? i can't say... many times. you've talked about your husband being unfaithful on multiple occasions. raping you on multiple occasions. belittling you, making cruel comments to you. taking your money from you. being an absolute. . . bastard. and yet, you couldn't live without him. it's as though... he was my world. i adored him. i didn't know how i could cope without him, even though he could... because sometimes he could be so charming. and ijust felt that, you know, this was normal life, really. i didn't know that what was going on was abuse, and i did try
counselling on several occasions, but that didn't help. i used to be very, very tearful. richard would ignore it if i cried. i can remember going to the doctor many times and crying there, but nobody seemed to be able to help me. you left him in 2009. yes. in one email that you sent in april 2010, you wrote, "i want to be with you, i'm sorry i left. we are soulmates. we have been together so long. i can't see a future without you, you are my life. i love you." and you've just explained why you felt you weren't able
to live without him. he replied, "i will consider your return only on these terms — when we go out together, it means together. this constant talking to strangers is rude and inconsiderate. we will agree to items in the home together, to give up smoking, to give up your constant interruptions when i am speaking." what did you think of those conditions? i'd agree to them. anything he said. you know, "how high do you want me tojump?" it meant that i could go back to him. but i lived on tenterhooks with him. i felt that anything i said would be scrutinised. i was very quiet. he said that we could come back together in three months' time. it was like a probation period. i was allowed to see him once a week. and you had to behave. and i had to behave. in inverted commas. yes. and you... as you were trying to reconcile, that's when he got you to sign a postnuptial agreement. and it effectively said you would only get a certain amount of money should this end in divorce, and it contained various conditions that we've just talked about.
yes. and it was very controlling. i look at that now and i don't understand why i wanted to sign it. but it was the only way i was going to get richard back. that was the day before you attacked him. i wonder what you recall about what happened on the day of his death. when i went over, he was sitting on the sofa, and he said he wanted his breakfast, even though it was mid—afternoon. and it was pouring with rain outside, so i rushed down to the local supermarket and bought some sausages and eggs and bacon, and brought them back. then, when i came into the house, i noticed that the landline phone was on the sofa beside him, and it hadn't been there before. i'd felt that he wanted to get me out of the house for some reason. i took the phone without him seeing and dialled 11171, and i recognised the number
of a woman that he was seeing. so it was going through my head all the time. you know, "what are your plans for me? are you going to just suddenly leave me and walk out on me?" i didn't know, my mind was just reeling. all these thoughts going through my head. and then... richard... i started cooking the breakfast, and richard was up on his computer. and i went up to tell him it was ready. and he minimised the screen. he came down and sat in the kitchen. i gave him his food, and i asked him if i was going to see him the following day, and he said, "don't question me, don't question me." and what happened happened.
i've no recollection of putting anything in my handbag, but i admit it must have been there. and... and you struck him with a hammer. i struck him with a hammer. yes. 18 times. i don't... i know that's been said, but itjust... everything is a blur, really, and ijust can't understand how i could have done something like that. it's not in my nature to do anything like that. you said you were reeling. what else was going on in your mind at that time? i just... everything was a blur, really. it was as though this wasn't me doing any of this. i loved richard and i wanted to be with him, and i killed the man i loved. did he deserve to die? no. and i'm very sorry for what happened. i should've been a stronger person. i should have left him earlier. but i just couldn't. he made me so dependent on him.
that deception of his, when you did 1471 and realised that it was the number of a woman that he had been seeing, and you thought you were potentially going to start a new life together in australia and the past would be the past, that deception, was that...? would you describe that as the last straw or not? i suppose, looking back, it probably was. ijust felt that i was being used, abused and this was just going to carry on and he was blatantly going to continue it in my face all the time. ijust flipped. i suppose i did. i don't know. do you know why there was a hammer in your handbag? i don't remember putting it in there, but i accept i must have done. you were charged with murder. yes. you felt it should have been manslaughter.
why in the original trial did no—one bring up the cruelty and the control your husband had exerted over you for decades? my original solicitors had told me quite clearly thatjuries don't like it if you speak ill of the dead. i know i didn't help myself, because when i took the stand i was just so nervous, i didn't know what was really going on. both my sons were questioned on the stand. they weren't asked the questions that they could give the answers to. they came off, saying, "i wasn't allowed to say this, i wasn't allowed to say that. nobody asked me those questions." coercive control was only recognised in law in 2015. you were injail at this point... yeah. ..several years after the original trial. what do you know now about your mental health and your psychological state when you carried out the killing of your husband?
i've had a number of years of therapy in prison, which has really helped me. i understand about gaslighting, i understand about what a person does who's controlling you. when it's happening to you, you don't realise what's happening. you don't understand it. you just know that your life is a total and utter misery. the way you've described your life with him, is it fair to say you were treated effectively as a slave? yes, i was. you're in a situation that you can't get out of. you don't know how to get out of. you think it's the norm. with the help from the centre for women'sjustice, you overturned the murder conviction with new mental health diagnoses and by highlighting the coercive nature of the relationship with your husband. that was successful,
but you were potentially facing another trial until the cps looked at independent psychiatric assessments and reduced the murder charge to manslaughter with diminished responsibility, which meant you were able to walk free, because you'd already served just over nine years in jail. how did you feel at that point? absolutely euphoric. it was as though this was happening to somebody else. i couldn't believe that after all these years that i would be free, because i thought i'd die in prison. i walked out of the old bailey and it was surreal. i was able to be next to my sons and i knew that i could now live a life. you served nine years injail for killing your husband. did you deserve to? i don't think i deserved to spend as long as i did in prison. i think if i'd been charged with manslaughter it would have been a lesser sentence.
i walked free from court having served the full time. what were the risks in terms of you coming out? what kind of help were you looking for? i think, had i not had a strong family surrounding me, if i had been somebody who was just released out into the open world, i don't think that i would have been able to cope very well. you're very conditioned in prison. it's a difficult place to be. i often felt i didn't fit in. i'd keep myself to myself. i had a certain few people that i would talk to. but you don't tend to talk about your case. your two sons have stood by you. yes. what does that mean to you? everything, yep. i don't know what i'd have done without them.
it's meant everything, their support. they've stood by me. they've lived my sentence with me. i've had some support, especially, you know, from james and david, and james' partnerjen, who's supported him and supported me. they've been my rock. do you still love your husband? i think what i love about richard is the ideal richard. the richard that i hoped that i would marry, that i hoped would love me and take care of me. i think it's the idea of that is what i love. but i still miss him. i always will. because he was the love of my life. and if you have been affected by any of the issues we talked about in that interview, there are lots of organisations and websites that can offer you advice and support, and are all listed on the bbc‘s
action line website. he is best known for working with some of the uk's biggest music artists, and now, for the first time, music producer naughty boy has spoken about his mum's diagnosis with dementia — she was diagnosed just last week — and how music has helped her. 0ur reporter, rachel stonehouse, has been to meet him and his mum. # running, running, running, running...# an international award—winning music producer, naughty boy has worked with some of the biggest stars, including beyonce, emeli sande and sam smith. # i'm covering my ears like a kid # when your words mean nothing, # i go la la la...# it's a far cry from where shahid khan first started out at his parents' home in watford. hi, mummy. this is my mum. when i started playing the piano in school, that's when i really got into it.
shahid. cheering. and then i also applied for a game show, deal or no deal. deal or no deal? and it was with this cash that he built his first studio. this is the garden shed where i made music for a few years. they used to keep their barbecue in there but i put it to better use than my dad did. now shahid has a new home with a new studio, not far from where he grew up. welcome to apple trees house and studio. i'll always have a garden studio. i like making music here. it feels very homely. thank you. i had a really fun session with craig david here. did you? who else did i have in here? black eyed peas did a really good late—night session here. but the real reason for this new home was not a creative one, but a family one instead. after the stroke, she wasn't able to swallow. she wasn't able to walk by herself. it really shook me up, just thinking, "mum's not ok." you know, she's the most
important person in my life. after a stroke in 2017, his family noticed a change in her mental state. and finally last week they received a diagnosis of vascular dementia. because mum's 66, i never thought... i thought you'd have to be really old to get dementia or you'd have to be alone or you'd have to be in a care home. but no, it's literally something that could happen to anyone at any time. i am very proud of my son. aw. oh, thank you. thank you, mummy. what's the hardest part, do you think? it's knowing that my mum's not the same woman that she was when, well, even a few years ago. mum was fully independent before the stroke. ready to cook? i'm ready. yes. this is how mum would cook. this is, you know, she's using the measurements she would use.
it's estimated dementia affects around 850,000 people in the uk. vascular dementia is the second most common type and affects around 150,000 people. it's caused by a reduced blood flow to the brain, often after a stroke. there's currently no cure, but certain lifestyle changes can help slow down the process. mum just wants to see. the emotion of what i'm going through, i'm able to now put that into songs. so i'm able to speak that side of my life, that truth into music. whereas for the last couple of years, i avoided it because i didn't want it to seem like, you know, i'm a victim or mum's a victim. but, yeah, merging mum's thing, like what i'm going through, with my music i think has helped me so much. it's got me to the point where i'm finishing my album. it's like, it's nearly done. the tomatoes are
still a bit too big. i should talk more about this, because it's my truth. and so is music, but i think, yeah, i think my next body of work, my album, i think it's going to be my best body of work ever. and i think mum has helped to re—inspire me to think, why do i make music? has he done a good job? mummy! is that 0k? yeah? it's a good job? yeah. for naughty boy and his family, it's music that has made a huge difference. i'm so lucky that i've got a passion that is music. but now i understand mum's condition, you know, i use music as a tool to make her happy. the songs that she listened to in the ‘60s and ‘70s, if ijust played that randomly, there would just be a smile on herface.
she sings. that's her favourite. she's singing it. even the thought of the song. she sings. my experiences of the last two years... for shahid, opening up and showing his vulnerability is key to the new music he's working on. just make sure you live. make sure you do the things that give you life. you know? because life's too short. great. i'd love to... i'll give you a little taster. ..have a little taster, yeah. it'll be out soon i think — end of october or november. and it's called live before i die. it's literally how i've been feeling over the last couple of years, and i think it's inspirational. and that's the kind of music i've always made and want to continue to make. has your mum heard any of that? yeah. i played it to her the other day and she loved it.
did she? but then, you know, if i say this my next single, she just always says, "oh, it's going to be number one!" so, yeah, but i like it when she says that. that's it for this week. remember, if you want to get in touch with us, you're very welcome. do e—mail us... we are back live, monday morning at 10am, bbc two and the bbc news channel, and online, thanks for watching. it is fairto it is fair to say we have had mixed fortunes.
some of us have had sunshine, like here in musselburgh. not1 million miles away, the skies look very different in aberdeenshire. waterlogged roads as we saw persistently wet weather here from this weather front that was with us all afternoon. we had a weather front also in the west stretching in from merseyside towards lincolnshire, also bringing some fairly persistent rain. down towards the southwest approaches, some areas of blue. this is the area of low pressure rattling off the atlantic, bringing some wet and windy weather across much of england and wales, particularly tonight. the rain will arrive, pushing north and east, getting into northern ireland and across northern england by the end of the night. showers will continue to affect northern parts of scotland and with all the cloud around, the wind and the rain, not particularly cold. temperatures staying in double figures but the winds will be gusty towards the english channel coast, around 45—50 miles an hour. sunday, it will push eastwards, so after a wet start to the day,
the weather will slowly improve with sunny spells breaking through. the rain lingers in the east midlands, into lincolnshire, could be a miserable day for some on sunday. as that area of low pressure begins to pull away later on sunday, we will get another swathe of strong wind, gusts reaching 45—50 miles per hour across parts of eastern england. we say goodbye to that area of low pressure and into the new working week, we have another one with a repeat performance. we could see another 70 millimetres of rain over the hills of wales. it has been a wet spell of weather so we could see some localised surface water flooding. across the north of the uk, largely fine with some bright weather and northerly winds making it feel more cool. showers across northern scotland. through the rest of the week it stays pretty unsettled, could turn wet and windy again mid week.
this is bbc news. the headlines at 5pm. the prime minister could face a vote of no—confidence as early as next week, according to a senior snp mp, as conservatives gather for their party conference. meanwhile, number ten describes as "a politically motivated attack" borisjohnson's referral to the police watchdog over his links to an american businesswoman. labour'sjeremy corbyn promises to scrap the controversial welfare policy, universal credit, should the party get into power. pressure grows on donald trump as secretary of state, mike pompeo, is ordered to hand over documents on ukraine linked to the impeachment investigation. tear gas and water cannon are used by hong kong police to disperse protestors holding a rally to mark the fifth anniversary of the pro—democracy umbrella movement.