THE man accused of murdering Claire Parry in a West Parley pub car park thought she was “catching her breath” after “pushing and pulling her” in an attempt to remove her from his car following an argument, a court has heard.

Timothy Brehmer, 41, of Hordle in the New Forest, denies murdering Mrs Parry in the Horns Inn car park on May 9, but admits manslaughter.

Richard Smith QC, prosecuting, told Salisbury Crown Court today (October 12) that Brehmer, a Dorset Police officer, and Mrs Parry had been having an affair for “over ten years”.

He told the court the pair became embroiled in an argument after Mrs Parry, 41 and of Bournemouth, realised her marriage and the affair was “falling apart”.

Brehmer, as he said in his police interview, “went too far” while pushing and pulling her in an attempt to remove Mrs Parry from his car after she text his wife from his phone revealing the affair.

A bone in Mrs Parry’s neck was broken and she died of a brain injury due to compression to the neck.

Mr Smith told the jurors an expert pathologist, who will later be called as a witness, reported that the method of which Mrs Parry’s neck was compressed left her jaw and neck “deeply bruised”. He said this can be an “important signpost” that Brehmer had his arm around her neck and she lowered her jaw in self-defence.

He also said the injuries suffered by Mrs Parry would have required “significant force”.

Bournemouth Echo:

The argument broke out after Mrs Parry threatened to tell Brehmer’s wife about the affair, and a text was sent on Brehmer’s phone at 3.02pm, the court heard.

Brehmer stabbed himself in the arm while Mrs Parry was writing the text in a bid to “get her attention, to see if she really cared about him”.

After seeing the text had been sent, he wanted Mrs Parry out his car so he could kill himself because he had “lost it all” but she refused to leave, jurors were told.

Brehmer walked around the front of the car to the passenger door to try and pull Mrs Parry out, he told police in his interview.

After a failed attempt to remove her, he tried to push her out the driver’s side and ended up “going too far”, killing Mrs Parry.

“The defendant had to come up with something to the police to explain how his lover was dying at the side of the car,” Mr Smith said.

“What he said he first of all tried to pull her out of the passenger seat because he wanted to go and commit suicide.

“He said because that failed, he piled in to push her across the cabin and out the driver’s side.

“He said, during the course of that, he was pushing and pulling her, and then he rolled out of the vehicle, leaving her there.

“The suggestion that somehow, during that exchange, Claire somehow got into a position, either by him holding her or pushing her down, that she was asphyxiated.”

Mr Smith said Mrs Parry was left unconscious, “effectively dying”, part-in, part-out of the car.

It was at that stage, he walked to the entrance way.

However, on July 13 while in prison, the court heard how Brehmer told a trainee prison officer Mrs Parry tried to get out the car and he stopped her by putting his arm around her neck and pulling her back.

Bournemouth Echo:

Brehmer told the prison officer: “We were arguing in the car, she was angry and wanted to tell my wife. But I thought it was more appropriate for me to tell her.”

Speaking to the jury, Mr Smith said: “That description of events is completely different to what he told police in May.

“If it’s right that that’s what the defendant said, then what you are provided by is with this defendant in an unguarded moment, he actually described what happened in the car.”

24 minutes after the text was sent, Brehmer is seen on CCTV to walk to the car park entrance and sit down, where he tells a member of the public he “thought Mrs Parry stabbed him”.

Mr Smith questioned how the exchange of the defendant trying to remove Mrs Parry from his car took 24 minutes.

At Salisbury Hospital the next day, he told members of staff he stabbed himself during the course of trying to end his life.

The court was told that, after the argument and the subsequent “pushing and pulling”, Brehmer walked to the entrance of the car park and believed Mrs Parry, who was left “part-in, part-out the car”, was “catching her breath”.

Mr Smith told the jury: “This is a man who has tried to minimise his responsibility, a man who has been inconsistent.

“He took hold of her tightly around her neck, so tight for such a period, as the pathologist will tell you, compressed the life out of her.

“The defendant says, ‘I’ve pleaded guilty to manslaughter, because Claire Parry died as she was pushed and pulled through the cabin of that car in such a way that she lost her life.’

“He said ‘I went too far in that pushing and pulling. I didn’t intend to cause a serious injury and I certainly didn’t intend to kill her’.

“The Crown says to you, the jury, he deliberately took hold around her neck and in that moment, not trying to get her out the car, very much having her in the car, he at very least intended to cause her very serious injury, if not to kill.”

Brehmer denies murder. The trial continues.