20 June 2024

Police officer’s sentence for killing lover to be reviewed

A womanising married police officer who strangled his long-term lover after she revealed their affair to his wife will have his jail term reviewed by the Court of Appeal.

Former Dorset Police constable Timothy Brehmer 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 last year.

Brehmer, of Hordle, Hampshire, 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.

He was cleared of murder by a jury following a trial at Salisbury Crown Court but had previously admitted Mrs Parry’s manslaughter.

Brehmer, then 41, was jailed for 10 and a half years in October.

His sentence has been referred to the Court of Appeal by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) under the unduly lenient sentence scheme.

Lawyers representing the AGO will argue at a hearing on Wednesday before three senior judges, including Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, that the jail term handed to Brehmer was too short and should be increased.

The court will also hear a bid by Brehmer to have his sentence reduced at the same hearing.

Trial judge Mr Justice Jacobs said in October that 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 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.

In a statement after Brehmer was jailed, Mrs Parry’s husband Andrew Parry – also a police officer – said: “Brehmer is a well-practised liar with years of experience.

“He has shown himself – as the trial exposed – to be consistently dishonest, deceitful and devious. We do not accept his version of events and all the inconsistencies that it contains.

“Claire was a caring nurse practitioner who helped many people in a career of over 20 years. She was a loving family member and a doting mother who leaves behind two young children.

“Her energy and enthusiasm for life were infectious and our lives are poorer without her in them.”

The Court of Appeal hearing is due to start at 10.30am on Wednesday.

Written by
David Harber
View all articles
Written by David Harber