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Married police officer jailed for killing his lover after she revealed their affair to his wife

Written by on 28 October 2020

A married police officer who strangled his lover after she revealed their affair to his wife has been jailed for manslaughter.

Timothy Brehmer, 41, has been sentenced to 10 years and six months for killing mother-of-two Claire Parry, 41, in a pub car park on 9 May after she revealed their affair.

She died during a “kerfuffle” in Brehmer’s car outside Horns Inn in West Parley, Dorset, after she used his phone to send a message to his wife saying: “I am cheating on you.”

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Nurse Claire Parry had been having an affair with Brehmer for more than 10 years

Her cause of death was a brain injury caused by compression of the neck, a post-mortem examination found.

On Monday, a jury took just under three hours to find the ex-Dorset Police officer not guilty of murdering Mrs Parry. Brehmer had previously admitted manslaughter.

Mr Justice Jacobs said Brehmer would serve two-thirds of his sentence in prison before he could apply for parole.

Sentencing him at Salisbury Crown Court he said: “This is a case where I should sentence you on the basis you lost your self-control following the sending of the text message to your wife where the affair was revealed, rather than on the basis that you had no intention to kill or cause really serious harm.

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“I am sure that you did deliberately take Claire Parry by the neck, applying significant force with your forearm or the crook of your elbow for a period of time while she struggled against you, thereby causing the severe neck injuries which the pathologist described.

“The evidence from the pathologist was that those injuries which she described as ‘severe’ on a scale of mild, moderate, or severe and resulted from the application of significant force to the neck for a period of a minimum of 10 to 30 seconds and possibly longer.

“She said it was difficult to envisage a situation where a struggle in the car imparted the necessary degree of force or could explain the extent and severity of the neck injuries.”

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Police officer cries as he is arrested

He added: “You were a trained and experienced police officer and your character witnesses described how you would help others.

“Yet you did nothing to try to help Claire Parry. You did not ask her how she was. That was because you knew how she was. You could not have possibly thought, as you said in your police interview, that she was simply taking a breath.

“You must have known that her body had gone limp after your assault on her. Before you walked to the car park entrance you must have seen how she was – hanging half out of the car.”

Brehmer claimed Mrs Parry accidentally suffered the fatal injury while he was trying to push her out of his car following the text message so he could drive away.

He previously told the court his arm “must have slipped up in all the melee”.

PC Timothy Brehmer, here with his wife, was arrested
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PC Timothy Brehmer said Mrs Parry accidentally suffered the fatal injury

Brehmer – described in court as a “womaniser” – said he had planned to kill himself because of the consequences to his family of their affair being revealed.

Mr Justice Jacobs said he sentenced Brehmer on the basis his case was a “loss of control” manslaughter rather than unlawful act manslaughter.

He added: “You had a full opportunity to tell your wife about the revelation that was coming.

“But your own cowardice led you not to do so but instead to try to dissuade Claire Parry from carrying through what she had said that she would do.”

The judge accepted the crime was “not a premeditated offence.”

The court heard that Brehmer, whose wife was also a police officer, and Mrs Parry had been having an affair for more than 10 years.

In the days before her death, Mrs Parry had started to believe that her marriage to Andrew Parry, also a Dorset Police officer, was coming to an end, as well as her relationship with the defendant.

The Horns Inn in West Parley, near Bournemouth, where Claire Parry was found injured in the car park on Saturday and later died in hospital. Timothy Brehmer, 41, a constable with Dorset Police, who was said to be known to the victim, is appearing by videolink at Poole Magistrates courts, accused of her murder.
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The Horns Inn in West Parley, near Bournemouth, where Claire Parry was found injured in the car park

She had carried out research using an alias on Facebook into Brehmer and became convinced he had had at least two other affairs.

Mrs Parry parents Philip and Jane Jordan described the loss of their daughter as “devastating”.

In a victim impact statement they said: “We have suffered the sudden and heart-wrenching loss of our beloved daughter.

“We have been denied the pleasure of sharing future events such as Christmas, important birthdays and holidays together. We also grieve for the life of continuing motherhood denied to Claire.”

Her husband Andrew said her loss left a “gaping chasm” in the family and Brehmer had “stolen a mother, a wife and daughter.”

He added: “Claire meant so much to so many people. He has robbed our children of a million hugs and kisses from their mummy. It is simply impossible to quantify what he has taken from us. So much can never be replaced.”