A married police officer who was accused of strangling his lover of 10 years to death after she revealed their affair to his wife has been cleared of murder.
PC Timothy Brehmer was alleged to have ‘angrily’ throttled nurse Claire Parry in his car moments after she text his detective wife ‘I’m cheating on you’ from his phone.
Today, following a 12 day trial, the police officer of 17 years remained emotionless in the dock as he was acquitted of murder by jurors after two hours and 50 minutes of deliberation.
Trial judge Mr Justice Jacobs said he would sentence Brehmer at 2.30pm for Mrs Parry’s manslaughter, which he had previously admitted.
However, the Dorset Police officer still faces a lengthy jail term after he previously admitted killing mother-of-two Mrs Parry by manslaughter.
Brehmer’s mother, Rosalyn Chivers, and his sister Kirsten cried and hugged each other moments after the verdict was delivered.
During his trial, Brehmer, 41, told jurors he was trying to push Mrs Parry out of his car in a struggle after she confronted him because she was ‘angry’ at discovering his previous affairs.
The court heard that while the pair were in the car, Mrs Parry had taken the Brehmer’s phone and sent a message to his wife saying: “I am cheating on you.”
He described the incident as a ‘kerfuffle’, claiming he ‘fell on top of her by accident more than anything’ and his arms must have ‘slipped up’ around her neck while he was behind her in a ‘piggy-back position’.
He sobbed as he told jurors: “I’m responsible for her death. I must have [used too much force].
“I absolutely did not want to kill her or cause serious bodily harm. I didn’t intend to kill her.”
Mrs Parry was left with ‘unsurvivable brain injuries’ after she was strangled in the car park of the Horns Inn pub in West Parley, Dorset, around 3pm on May 9 and died in hospital the next day.
Brehmer said: “Never for one second did I ever intend to hurt her, we’d been seeing each other on and off for 11 years, I can’t say that I loved her but I definitely cared for her.
“Things had changed recently, it had all gone so wrong.
“It was always the unwritten rule of the affair that you don’t ask about the other people but all of a sudden she wanted to know all about my life.”
Recalling the struggle, he added: “She was on her front in a press-up position. I didn’t mean to hurt her, I fell on top of her by accident more than anything.
“I was trying to grab hold of her, my arm was around her.. it was just a kerfuffle. If you imagine a piggy-back.. to hold on you have to have your arms around them.
“I was directly on top of her like a piggy-back, I was trying to bump her out of the car. I was trying so hard to get her out and she was actively doing all she could to stay in.
“My left arm was around the top of her chest, by the collarbone, but it must have slipped up in all the melee.
“I was slowly getting her out of the car but I don’t know how long it went on for.
“I’ve tried to think about this every day since I’ve been in prison, maybe she was trapped in the car I don’t know. There’s so many ‘what if’s’ that go through my brain.”
The police officer, who served with Dorset Police, will be sentenced at Salisbury Crown Court by Mr Justice Jacobs later on Tuesday.