Dorset police officer cleared in murder of longtime affair partner

Andy Gregory
·5-min read
Timothy Brehmer admitted manslaughter but was cleared of murder (PA)
Timothy Brehmer admitted manslaughter but was cleared of murder (PA)

A police officer who killed his lover after she revealed their affair to his wife has been cleared of murder.

Timothy Brehmer, 41, formerly of Dorset Police, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Claire Parry after she sent a text to his wife from his phone, saying: “I am cheating on you.”

A post-mortem examination concluded the married mother-of-two, from Bournemouth, had died from a brain injury caused by compression of the neck.

Brehmer said his arm “must have slipped up in all the melee” as he tried to pull her from his Citroen car in order to drive away from a final argument over their relationship in a car park outside the Horns Inn in West Parley.

The defendant, of Woodcock Lane, Hordle, Hampshire, was acquitted of murder by a jury following a trial at Salisbury Crown Court. He will be sentenced for the charges of manslaughter on Wednesday.

The court heard that Brehmer, whose wife was also a police officer, had been having an affair for more than 10 years with Parry, a 41-year-old nurse.

In the days before her death, Parry had started to believe that both their relationship and her marriage to Andrew Parry, also a Dorset Police officer, were coming to an end.

She had used an alias on Facebook to research Brehmer and became convinced he had had at least two other affairs.

Brehmer – described in the trial as a “womaniser” – said that when Parry drove into the car park she was angry, and after she got into his vehicle she asked for his phone so she could look through his social media apps.

“She was so angry, I do not know if she was jealous of my ‘perfect life’, as she called it,” he said.

Brehmer said that at one point he stabbed his arm three times with a penknife but Parry “did not care”, and said he had planned to kill himself because of the consequences to his family of their affair being revealed.

He said Parry had refused his demands that she get out of his car, so he first tried to pull her out before he “bundled” into the car to try to push her out, and his arm “must have slipped up in all the melee”.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Parry described Brehmer as “the worst kind of thief” and said his actions had left a “gaping chasm" in his children’s lives which will "stretch on for eternity”.

"I'll never forget telling my children that their mother was dead," he said.

"I remember walking along with them thinking, 'I'm about to burst your bubble, and bring your whole world crashing down'.

"It was like a physical weight crushing down on my chest."

He said the trial had been “a whole new level of pain and humiliation”, listening to Brehmer tell what he alleged were “lie after lie”.

“This trial was Brehmer's one opportunity to spare his and Claire's family some pain,” Mr Parry said.

“He took that opportunity and twisted it into a new way to torment us, allowing all of Claire's shortfalls to be publicly displayed while all of her good qualities and deeds were overlooked.”

Parry’s parents, Philip and Jane Jordan, said that losing a daughter to violence was a “worst nightmare”, and that they “grieve for the life of continuing motherhood denied to Claire”.

They added: “Claire's children now have to go through their lives knowing this man took the life of their mummy.

“They will go through life's firsts not being able to share their triumphs and disasters with their mummy. For us as their grandparents this is a bitter, bitter pain.

“This man has caused devastating changes to our lives and the consequences in which we will always live with and suffer.”

At the time of the incident, Brehmer was seconded to the National Police Air Service based at Bournemouth Airport. He was sacked by Dorset Police last month.

“As police officers our duty, first and foremost, is to protect the public and for a serving officer to take a life of another in this way is incomprehensible,” said Chief Constable James Vaughan.

"His conduct fell dramatically below that which I, his colleagues and the public expect from a police officer, and he clearly has no place holding the office of constable."

Jo Martin QC, defending, said Brehmer was remorseful for his actions and told her after being acquitted of murder: “It doesn't change anything. I am still responsible for Claire's death.

She added: "Mr Brehmer pleaded guilty to the offence which is one indication of remorse. His remorse is genuine and will live with him long past any sentence this court imposes.

“He did not want Claire Parry to be dead. He recognises, as he said throughout, the distress and despair that he has caused other people.”

Brehmer was dismissed without notice from Dorset Police last month following a disciplinary hearing.

Chief constable James Vaughan said: "As police officers our duty, first and foremost, is to protect the public and for a serving officer to take a life of another in this way is incomprehensible.

"His conduct fell dramatically below that which I, his colleagues and the public expect from a police officer and he clearly has no place holding the office of constable.

"Our thoughts very much remain with Claire Parry's family, friends and loved ones. Our commitment to supporting her family and all those good officers in the Dorset Police family who have been affected by this incident will continue.

Additional reporting by PA

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