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Old 27th October 2020, 10:01 AM   #1
Captain_Swoop
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Police officer who strangled his lover cleared of murder

Timothy Brehmer, a constable with Dorset Police, killed nurse Claire Parry, 41, in a pub car park on 9 May.

The two had been having a secret relationship for more than 10 years, a trial at Salisbury Crown Court heard.

Brehmer, 41, of Hordle, Hampshire, had previously admitted manslaughter and said Mrs Parry's death was an accident.

He will be sentenced at the same court on Wednesday.

Brehmer said he strangled her by accident during a "kerfuffle" in his car.
He said when Mrs Parry refused to leave his car he tried to pull her out before he "bundled" into the vehicle in an attempt to push her.
The defendant said his arm "must have slipped up in all the melee" and that he left the car without realising Mrs Parry was "poorly".
Mrs Parry, from Bournemouth, died in hospital the following day from a brain injury caused by compression of the neck.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan...shire-54693540
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Old 27th October 2020, 10:35 AM   #2
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I am not aware of any other instance of strangulation during a forceful removal from a vehicle. This a completely new risk, invented purely as an excuse and remarkably, it has worked.
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Old 27th October 2020, 10:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I am not aware of any other instance of strangulation during a forceful removal from a vehicle. This a completely new risk, invented purely as an excuse and remarkably, it has worked.
Just following the neck focused techniques of American police.
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Old 27th October 2020, 11:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I am not aware of any other instance of strangulation during a forceful removal from a vehicle. This a completely new risk, invented purely as an excuse and remarkably, it has worked.
Unintended injury and death occur during violent struggles all the time, though. I'm sure this isn't even remotely the first time it's happened while trying to get someone into or out of a car.
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Old 27th October 2020, 12:12 PM   #5
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I wonder if Officer Chauvin described his killing of George Floyd as a kerfluffle and that he bundled Mr Floyd in the melee, leaving him poorly, then the States wouldn't be in flames? The euphemisms here are worthy of a Monty Python sketch
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Old 27th October 2020, 12:25 PM   #6
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We need to ban cars to prevent similar incidents.
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Old 27th October 2020, 12:52 PM   #7
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Probably just need to ban violent struggles.
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Old 27th October 2020, 12:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Probably just need to ban violent struggles.
Or banging someone other than your spouse on the DL for a decade?
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Old 27th October 2020, 01:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Brehmer said he strangled her by accident during a "kerfuffle" in his car.
He said when Mrs Parry refused to leave his car he tried to pull her out before he "bundled" into the vehicle in an attempt to push her.
The defendant said his arm "must have slipped up in all the melee" and that he left the car without realising Mrs Parry was "poorly".
Mrs Parry, from Bournemouth, died in hospital the following day from a brain injury caused by compression of the neck.
And a jury believed him? I am (with the usual caveat that I wasn't at the trial and haven't heard any more than this story) astonished.
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Old 27th October 2020, 01:47 PM   #10
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Hee is a police officer. They can get away with murder. This is just one example.
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Old 27th October 2020, 01:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Unintended injury and death occur during violent struggles all the time, though. I'm sure this isn't even remotely the first time it's happened while trying to get someone into or out of a car.
I cannot find any examples of someone dying by strangulation as they were forcibly removed from a car.
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Old 27th October 2020, 02:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I cannot find any examples of someone dying by strangulation as they were forcibly removed from a car.
Let's start with the more general case: Can you find any examples of someone being accidentally or negligently injured while being forcibly removed from anywhere?
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Old 27th October 2020, 02:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Let's start with the more general case: Can you find any examples of someone being accidentally or negligently injured while being forcibly removed from anywhere?
I am a retired police officer. I am aware of many cases of injury sustained during forcibly removing people, to the people and the police, but no deaths and I cannot even remember an instance that resulted in anything other than minor injuries when removing people from vehicles.

As a police officer, Brehmer will have had experience like no one else, on removing people from vehicles. I do not know about Dorset Police, but my Officer Safety Training included a part on removing people from a vehicle. It involved getting hold of an arm and twisting and levering the person out.
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Old 27th October 2020, 03:32 PM   #14
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Maybe he's just a crap policeman. Wouldn't be the first one I've seen.

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Old 28th October 2020, 12:46 AM   #15
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Amazing, when the guy actually confessed whilst sitting on the ground outside of the car.
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Old 28th October 2020, 06:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Amazing, when the guy actually confessed whilst sitting on the ground outside of the car.
Confessed to a lesser crime than what he was charged with.

The law makes a distinction between intentional death and accidental death arising from a violent struggle. I think it's an important distinction. It's weird to me that some people don't see it.
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Old 28th October 2020, 07:39 AM   #17
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ten and a half years

Quote:
Mr Justice Jacobs told Brehmer he was sentencing him "on the basis you lost your self-control following the sending of the text message to your wife where the affair was revealed, rather than on the basis that you had no intention to kill or cause really serious harm".

"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...severe neck injuries," the judge added.
"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."


However, the judge said as a trained police officer "it must have been obvious" that Mrs Parry was not breathing.
"Yet you did nothing to try to help Claire Parry," Mr Justice Jacobs added. "You did not ask her how she was. That was because you knew how she was.
"You could not possibly have thought, as you said in your police interview, that she was simply taking a breath.
"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."
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-54716338

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Old 28th October 2020, 08:53 AM   #18
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As I recall, it is not easy to strangle someone "accidently". I believe it takes 4 minutes of intense pressure to cause death.
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Old 28th October 2020, 09:06 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
As I recall, it is not easy to strangle someone "accidently". I believe it takes 4 minutes of intense pressure to cause death.
But she was fighting so he had to squeeze tighter until she stopped!

Can't believe that defense worked.
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Old 28th October 2020, 09:27 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
So he could be out in what? 6.5 years? Doesn't seem right to me.
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Old 28th October 2020, 09:28 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
So, basically, the judge disagreed with the verdict?
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Old 28th October 2020, 09:31 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
So, basically, the judge disagreed with the verdict?
He was found guilty of manslaughter and not guilty of murder, so the sentence is for the manslaughter.

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Old 28th October 2020, 09:36 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
He was found guilty of manslaughter and not guilty of murder, so the sentence is for the manslaughter.
Indeed, but the judge’s words quoted express disbelief that the death was unintentional, which reads to me as though he believes it was murder not manslaughter, the jury’s verdict notwithstanding.
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Old 28th October 2020, 10:40 AM   #24
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The Sentencing Council guideline for manslaughter is 1 to 24 years in custody.

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk...deline-Web.pdf

The 10.5 years imposed suggests a medium level of culpability. I presume that despite dragging and holding someone by the neck is clearly dangerous, it is not necessarily going to be fatal.

Plus Brehmer had no previous and he showed remorse, which reduces a sentence. He also plead to manslaughter and he ran a defence of "loss of control". If anything, 10.5 years is high for all of those factors.
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Old 28th October 2020, 11:00 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
The Sentencing Council guideline for manslaughter is 1 to 24 years in custody.

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk...deline-Web.pdf

The 10.5 years imposed suggests a medium level of culpability. I presume that despite dragging and holding someone by the neck is clearly dangerous, it is not necessarily going to be fatal.

Plus Brehmer had no previous and he showed remorse, which reduces a sentence. He also plead to manslaughter and he ran a defence of "loss of control". If anything, 10.5 years is high for all of those factors.
Really? A guy who killed his lover in what was probably a fit of rage after she texted his wife to tell her about the affair and 10.5 years is high?
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Old 28th October 2020, 11:20 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
Really? A guy who killed his lover in what was probably a fit of rage after she texted his wife to tell her about the affair and 10.5 years is high?
Considering nobody has ever been choked to death while being removed from a car before, I think it's kind of draconian. How was he supposed to know this might happen?
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Old 28th October 2020, 11:26 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Considering nobody has ever been choked to death while being removed from a car before, I think it's kind of draconian. How was he supposed to know this might happen?
That's a very charitable way to view it.
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Old 28th October 2020, 11:43 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
That's a very charitable way to view it.
It wasn't my view, but I suppose I need to take it seriously.
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Old 28th October 2020, 12:44 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
Really? A guy who killed his lover in what was probably a fit of rage after she texted his wife to tell her about the affair and 10.5 years is high?
Yes. It is a very long read, but the Sentencing Guidelines show that. The Secret Barrister has a thread on twitter that is easier to digest;

https://twitter.com/BarristerSecret/...25591531425792

It appears the loss of control defence was convincing in this case. I am not convinced, sadly the jury were.
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Old 28th October 2020, 12:51 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I am a retired police officer. I am aware of many cases of injury sustained during forcibly removing people, to the people and the police, but no deaths and I cannot even remember an instance that resulted in anything other than minor injuries when removing people from vehicles.

As a police officer, Brehmer will have had experience like no one else, on removing people from vehicles. I do not know about Dorset Police, but my Officer Safety Training included a part on removing people from a vehicle. It involved getting hold of an arm and twisting and levering the person out.
FWIW - As a retired police officer I too have never heard of an accidental death caused by removing someone forcibly from a vehicle.
It appears pretty obvious to me that the judge did not agree with the jury either.
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Old 28th October 2020, 01:03 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Yes. It is a very long read, but the Sentencing Guidelines show that. The Secret Barrister has a thread on twitter that is easier to digest;

https://twitter.com/BarristerSecret/...25591531425792

It appears the loss of control defence was convincing in this case. I am not convinced, sadly the jury were.
I am sad to say that in my experience Canadian juries usually gave police officers the benefit of the doubt due to the general public's perception of police officers being "the good guys". Would it be fair to say that is/was also the case in the UK?
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Old 29th October 2020, 02:21 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by rockinkt View Post
I am sad to say that in my experience Canadian juries usually gave police officers the benefit of the doubt due to the general public's perception of police officers being "the good guys". Would it be fair to say that is/was also the case in the UK?
That he was police probably helped the credibility of his claim that he had lost control and it was an accident for which he was remorseful and had pleaded guilty to.

That and what with COVID, juries want to reach quick verdicts and go home!
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Old 1st November 2020, 05:56 PM   #33
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Disingenuous title. Acquitted of murder, but jailed for 10 and a half years for manslaughter.

When people fight they often lose control, and then accidents like this happen. Nothing suggests that he intended to kill her, or that he knew he was using excessive force that likely would. And his actions afterwards don't appear to indicate an effort to cover up a crime.

Originally Posted by Nessie
That he was police probably helped the credibility of his claim that he had lost control and it was an accident for which he was remorseful and had pleaded guilty to.
Which was probably the truth. But if anything, being a police officer would make his claim less believable, since he should have known how to handle the situation without causing a fatal injury.

Originally Posted by Disbelief
But she was fighting so he had to squeeze tighter until she stopped!

Can't believe that defense worked.
You weren't on the jury, so how can you say that? The news reports are light on detail and don't say much about the trial, so we really don't know what swayed the jury.

Anyway this case serves to introduce two pieces of advice.

1. Don't get into a fight where you might 'lose control'. It is all too easy to accidentally cause severe injury or even death. Better to be submissive and let the other person have their way (unless you are fighting for your life, in which case the best action is to run!).

2. When you have been having an affair for 10 years and still haven't told your spouse, it's gone on for too long. You need to choose one or the other - before the situation gets out of control.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 09:34 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Let's start with the more general case: Can you find any examples of someone being accidentally or negligently injured while being forcibly removed from anywhere?
Strangling someone to death requires sustained pressure, even after the person stops struggling, even after he/she passes out. In Floyd's case it took 8+ minutes. If this woman had died of, say, a single blow to the head, that might be an accident. But death by strangulation is always deliberate, and that makes it murder.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 09:46 AM   #35
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There's a more detailed account here. He lied to cops, wiped his phone and apparently stabbed himself to claim she had attacked him. This was no accident.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/130411...re-parry-jail/
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Old 2nd November 2020, 09:52 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Strangling someone to death requires sustained pressure, even after the person stops struggling, even after he/she passes out. In Floyd's case it took 8+ minutes. If this woman had died of, say, a single blow to the head, that might be an accident. But death by strangulation is always deliberate, and that makes it murder.
An interesting legal theory clearly not shared by UK courts or juries.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 10:22 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
An interesting legal theory clearly not shared by UK courts or juries.

It's a medical fact. I don't know what the legal criteria for murder are in the UK.

But the judge had some things to say:
Quote:
"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." In a blistering response to Brehmer's claims in court he didn't realise Mrs Parry was seriously hurt, the judge said: "You could not possibly thought, as you said in your police interview, that she was simply taking a breath.

"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."

The judge berated Brehmer for falsely blaming Mrs Parry for stabbing him, saying the "lies were particularly serious as you were a serving police officer".
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/130411...re-parry-jail/

Sure sounds like murder by U.S. standards.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 10:29 AM   #38
RolandRat
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Yeah this guy should be doing life. His sentence is disgusting.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 11:12 AM   #39
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
It's a medical fact. I don't know what the legal criteria for murder are in the UK.
Clearly they're not the same as yours, since this got ruled as manslaughter.

Quote:
But the judge had some things to say:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/130411...re-parry-jail/

Sure sounds like murder by U.S. standards.
Sounds like the judge thinks it's murder. It also sounds like the judge is constrained by the principles of UK criminal justice and the finding of the jury to accept the verdict of manslaughter.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 11:15 AM   #40
theprestige
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
Yeah this guy should be doing life. His sentence is disgusting.
Should he be doing life life, or "lifelong restriction" life?
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