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Jail term for PC who strangled lover reviewed amid complaint it was ‘unduly lenient’

Written by on 4 November 2020

The jail sentence handed down to a “womanising” police officer who strangled his long-term lover is to be reviewed by the attorney general after a claim it was “unduly lenient”.

Timothy Brehmer, a married Dorset police constable, was given a 10-and-a-half-year prison term at Salisbury Crown Court last week after being convicted of causing the death of mother-of-two Claire Parry.

The 41-year-old was cleared by a jury of murder but had previously pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of the married nurse, who he had been having an affair with for more than 10 years.

A spokesman for the attorney general’s office confirmed it had received a complaint under its Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme and said law officers had 28 days from sentencing to consider the case and make a decision.

Mrs Parry, 41, died during a “kerfuffle” in Brehmer’s Citroen in the Horns Inn pub car park in West Parley, Dorset, on 9 May this year, after she used his phone to send a text message to his wife saying: “I am cheating on you.”

Image:
Flowers were left at the car park of the Horns Inn pub in West Parley, Dorset, in tribute to Mrs Parry

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

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

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Trial judge Mr Justice Jacobs said he sentenced Brehmer for manslaughter on the basis that he “lost control” after the nurse sent the message.

Mrs Parry’s cause of death was a brain injury caused by compression of the neck, a post-mortem examination found.

The judge said: “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 judge said that as a “trained and experienced” road traffic police officer, Brehmer would have known Mrs Parry was seriously injured.

“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,” the judge said.

Brehmer, of Hordle, Hampshire, will serve two-thirds of his sentence in prison before he can apply for parole.