Married police officer who strangled lover after she revealed their affair to his wife is jailed for more than 10 years

Telegraph reporters
·4 min read
PC Timothy Brehmer - BNPS 
PC Timothy Brehmer - BNPS

A womanising married police officer who strangled his long-term lover after she revealed their affair to his wife has been jailed for 10-and-a-half years.

Timothy Brehmer, 41, killed mother-of-two Claire Parry after she sent a text message from his phone to his wife saying: "I am cheating on you."

Mrs Parry, 41, died during a "kerfuffle" in his car in the car park of the Horns Inn in West Parley, Dorset, on May 9 this year.

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

The Dorset Police constable was acquitted of murder by a jury following a trial at Salisbury Crown Court but had previously admitted Mrs Parry's manslaughter.

Her husband, Andrew, said Brehmer had caused his family immense pain and "he is the worst kind of thief", leaving a "gaping chasm" in their lives.

"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," Mr Parry, also a Dorset Police officer, said.

Mrs Parry's parents, Philip and Jane Jordan, said: "We have been denied the pleasure of sharing future events such as Christmas, important birthdays and holidays together."

Claire Parry - Dorset Police/Solent News & Photo Agency 
Claire Parry - Dorset Police/Solent News & Photo Agency

Trial judge Mr Justice Jacobs said he sentenced Brehmer for manslaughter on the basis that he "lost control" after Mrs Parry sent the text message to his wife, Martha, also a police officer.

"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," he said.

"The evidence from the pathologist was that those injuries which she described as 'severe' on a scale of mild, moderate or severe, resulted from the application of significant force to the neck for a period of a minimum 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."

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.

"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.

"It must have been obvious to you, as a trained police officer with extensive experience of casualties in traffic accidents, that she was not breathing."

The judge added: "You ought to have known that your assault on Claire Parry with your forearm or crook of elbow around her neck carried a high risk of death or really serious harm which ought to have been obvious to you.

"Your training as a police officer, including training as to restraint techniques, would have made the dangers of an assault of that kind of obvious to you."

The court heard that Brehmer and Mrs Parry had been having an affair for more than 10 years.

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.

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

She had carried out research using an alias on Facebook into Brehmer and became convinced he had had at least two other affairs, including with another police officer, Detective Constable Kate Rhodes.

Ms Rhodes said the father-of-one used "grooming" techniques to exert "coercive and controlling behaviour" over women.

After being acquitted of murder, Brehmer, of Woodcock Lane, Hordle, Hampshire, told his legal team: "It doesn't change anything. I am still responsible for Claire's death."

He will serve two-thirds of his sentence in prison before he can apply for parole.

Dorset Police has sacked him from the force.