A married police officer has been found not guilty of murdering his long-term lover after she revealed their affair to his wife.
Police Constable Timothy Brehmer, 41, denied murdering Claire Parry in the car park of a pub in West Parley, Dorset, on 9 May but admitted manslaughter.
During trial, the prosecution alleged he strangled the mother-of-two after she sent a text on his phone to his wife telling her about the affair.
The officer, from Hordle, Hampshire, was seconded to the National Police Air Service in Bournemouth at the time of the incident.
He said a “kerfuffle” that took place in a car outside the Horns Inn caused her death, saying he was trying to push her out of the vehicle so he could drive off.
On Tuesday, jurors unanimously found him not guilty of her murder. He will be sentenced for her manslaughter later today.
During the trial at Salisbury Crown Court, jurors heard how Parry, 41, a nurse, had been involved with Brehmer for more than 10 years.
Research she carried out online convinced her that Brehmer was involved in at least two other affairs, jurors were told.
She had made contact with a police officer who said she had an affair with Brehmer, the court heard.
He “was perhaps not the man she thought he was at all, and not a man who was likely to set up with her” in her eyes now, a prosecutor said.
A note addressed to Brehmer’s wife Martha, also a police officer, that was found on Parry’s phone said: “Dear Martha, what I am going to say is likely to come as no surprise to you.
“I am figuring you have always suspected but tried to ignore, there is no easy way to say it but, put simply, your husband is a man w****.
“Myself and others have fallen victim to his words and charms, his promises of being in a loveless marriage to only staying for the sake of your children.
“He sucked me in years ago and made me believe he and I had a future until he realised you were pregnant.
“He didn’t tell me about you at first, that he was married, and when I found out he told me he was going to leave.”
The trial heard that he threatened to kill himself in order to “emotionally blackmail” Parry.
Watch: Police officer cleared of murdering lover but faces jail for manslaughter
Richard Smith QC, prosecuting, said Brehmer tried to buy a rope and intended to tell Parry he would kill himself with it if she revealed what had been happening to Martha.
He had not been able to pick it up due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions on click and collect.
Brehmer told jurors: “I had formed the decision that I was going to end my life.
“I couldn’t face the rejection from my family, I felt I didn’t have anyone I could talk to.”
He added: “It was like hurricanes in your brain, total turmoil, spinning plates and they are all falling on the floor.”
But Smith said of the rope: “It was a tool, a device to emotionally blackmail the woman who was going to reveal this affair – ‘If you tell my wife I’m going to decapitate myself’.”
He said that when the two met at the pub car park, the “catalyst” for Brehmer’s actions was Parry sending the text to Martha.
“I am cheating on you,” she sent from the officer’s phone, the court heard.
Jurors were told that when Brehmer and Parry met at the pub, they argued and he strangled her with enough force to break her neck, and she died in hospital the next day.
Brehmer said Parry was angry when the two met in the car park and she asked for his phone to check his social media apps, describing her as acting “snide”.
He said he stabbed his own arm three times with a penknife, but Parry “did not care”, and he demanded she should leave the car.
However, he said she refused, and he tried to push her out but his arm “must have slipped up in all the melee” and he left the vehicle without realising Parry was “poorly”.
In court, Brehmer told his defence counsel Joanna Martin QC that he “absolutely” did not not mean to kill Parry or “hurt her in any shape or form”.
Under cross-examination from Smith, he accepted he was a “well-practised liar” who lied to his wife “consistently well” and would consider himself a “devious b******”.
Parry died the next day in hospital, and a post-mortem found she died from brain injury caused by neck compression.
Smith said Brehmer “showered misery over all manner of people”.
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