Timothy Brehmer: Married police officer jailed for killing his lover after she revealed their affair to his wife | UK News

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A married police officer who strangled his lover after she revealed their affair to his wife has been jailed for manslaughter.

Timothy Brehmer, 41, has been sentenced to 10 years and six months for killing mother-of-two Claire Parry, 41, in a pub car park on 9 May after she revealed their affair.

She died during a “kerfuffle” in Brehmer’s car outside Horns Inn in West Parley, Dorset, after she used his phone to send a message to his wife saying: “I am cheating on you.”

Undated handout file photo issued by Dorset Police of nurse Claire Parry.
Image: Nurse Claire Parry had been having an affair with Brehmer for more than 10 years

Her cause of death was a brain injury caused by compression of the neck, a post-mortem examination found.

On Monday a jury took just under three hours to find the ex-Dorset Police officer not guilty of murdering Mrs Parry. Brehmer had previously admitted manslaughter.

Mr Justice Jacobs said Brehmer would serve two-thirds of his sentence in prison before he could apply for parole.

Sentencing him at Salisbury Crown Court he said: “This is a case where I should sentence you 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 the severe neck injuries which the pathologist described.

“The evidence from the pathologist was that those injuries which she described as ‘severe’ on a scale of mild, moderate, or severe and resulted from the application of significant force to the neck for a period of a minimum of 10 to 30 seconds and possibly longer.

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Police officer cries as he is arrested

“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.”

He added: “You were a trained and experienced police officer and your character witnesses described how you would help others.

“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. You could not have 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.”

Brehmer claimed Mrs Parry accidentally suffered the fatal injury while he was trying to push her out of his car following the text message so he could drive away.

He previously told the court his arm “must have slipped up in all the melee”.

PC Timothy Brehmer, here with his wife, was arrested
Image: PC Timothy Brehmer, here with his wife

Brehmer – described in court as a “womaniser” – said he had planned to kill himself because of the consequences to his family of their affair being revealed.

Mr Justice Jacobs said he sentenced Brehmer on the basis his case was a “loss of control” manslaughter rather than unlawful act manslaughter.

He added: “You had a full opportunity to tell your wife about the revelation that was coming.

“But your own cowardice led you not to do so but instead to try to dissuade Claire Parry from carrying through what she had said that she would do.”

The court heard that Brehmer, whose wife was also a police officer, and Mrs Parry had been having an affair for more than 10 years.

In the days before her death, Mrs Parry had started to believe that her marriage to Andrew Parry, also a Dorset Police officer, was coming to an end, as well as her relationship with the defendant.

She had carried out research using an alias on Facebook into Brehmer and became convinced he had had at least two other affairs

Coronavirus: Fake COVID marshals are trying to force their way into people’s homes | UK News

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Scammers are pretending to be COVID marshals and medical professionals so they can gain access to people’s homes.

Genuine COVID marshals don’t have the power to enforce social distancing, issue fines or enter private properties, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has warned.

The organisation said this scam is a version of one seen over the summer, where fake healthcare professionals offered bogus coronavirus tests to get into people’s homes.

Fraudsters are shifting their tactics as rules and regulations change – and Katherine Hart, the CTSI’s lead officer for doorstep crime, said constant vigilance is needed.

She added: “This type of scam appears in many forms, and I have also received information about individuals pretending to offer flu vaccinations on the door – a concerning development as we enter flu season.

“I am particularly concerned that elderly and vulnerable individuals may be at risk to this scam.”

Ms Hart urged the public to spread this information to prevent “unscrupulous individuals from ruining the lives of those already struggling during this challenging time”.

In September, Bedfordshire Police said it was investigating reports of two men pretending to be COVID marshals in Dunstable.

The pair told the victim that they had been instructed by police to enter people’s homes and check guidelines were being followed – and warned he would be fined if he refused.

According to police, the victim asked the men for their identification – and when they couldn’t produce any, he kept his security chain on the door and refused to let them in. One of the offenders then prevented the door from being closed with their foot.

Eventually, the pair left the scene after failing to gain access.

At the time, Bedfordshire Police’s Lesley Johnson said: “This was distressing for the victim, and he felt quite intimidated by the men.

“We would urge everyone to be on their guard and look out for vulnerable friends and relatives who could fall prey to such opportunist scammers.”

Millions of pounds have been lost to coronavirus-related scams since the pandemic began – affecting tens of thousands of people, according to Action Fraud.

Other scams include the sale of non-existent face masks, bogus breeders collecting deposits from customers for dogs they think they’re buying, and fraudsters claiming to offer cheap loans with fast-track approval as long as a fee is paid upfront.

Coronavirus: UK becomes first country to back studies that would deliberately infect volunteers with COVID-19 | UK News

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The UK has become the first country to back studies that would see healthy volunteers deliberately infected with coronavirus after being given a potential vaccine.

Human challenge trials aim to speed up the development of vaccines and have previously been used in finding treatments for malaria, typhoid, cholera and flu.

The government has said it will initially invest £33.6m in the studies, although the research will need to be approved by regulators and the ethics committee before they can go ahead.

Live coronavirus updates from the UK and around the world

If approved, healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30 would be given a potential vaccine that has proven to be safe in initial trials.

They would then be exposed to COVID-19 in a controlled environment and monitored 24 hours a day to see how the vaccine works and if there are any side effects.

The trials could begin in January and involve up to 90 volunteers.

The studies would be conducted by Imperial College London in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and hVivo, a company that has experience conducting testing.

Supporters of the studies say the approach can produce results faster than standard research, as there is no waiting for volunteers to become exposed to the disease – which could potentially save thousands of lives.

Critics argue it is unethical to deliberately infect people with a disease, but supporters say the risk is low and volunteers are carefully selected.

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Will a vaccine end the pandemic?

Dr Chris Chiu, from Imperial College London and lead researcher on the human challenge study, said: “Our number one priority is the safety of the volunteers. My team has been safely running human challenge studies with other respiratory viruses for over 10 years.

“No study is completely risk-free, but the Human Challenge Programme partners will be working hard to ensure we make the risks as low as we possibly can.”

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The initial aim will be to find out the smallest amount of virus it takes for someone to become infected.

Researchers would then study how vaccines work in the body to stop COVID-19.

Specially designed facilities at the Royal Free would be used to conduct the study, with volunteers monitored under strict conditions and medics on hand.

There would be a controlled entrance to the facility, careful decontamination of waste and all the air leaving the unit would be cleaned so there is no risk to anyone outside.

Deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said the trials could be used to find an effective vaccine.

“First, for the many vaccines still in the mid-stages of development, human challenge studies may help pick out the most promising ones to take forward into larger Phase 3 trials,” he said.

“Second, for vaccines which are in the late stages of development and already proven to be safe and effective through Phase 3 studies, human challenge studies could help us further understand if the vaccines prevent transmission as well as preventing illness.”

Coronavirus: Black men have higher coronavirus death rate than anyone else in England and Wales | UK News

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Men from African, Caribbean and Bangladeshi ethnic backgrounds have higher rates of death involving coronavirus than any other ethnic group in England and Wales, new data shows.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said rates have exceeded 250 per 100,000 for those groups.

The ONS had previously combined Pakistani and Bangladeshi groups but has since found the latter group had a “significantly higher” risk of dying with COVID-19.

Live coronavirus updates from the UK and around the world

The data covers the period up to 28 July 2020.

White men have a mortality rate of 106.8 deaths per 100,000, second only to Chinese men – who have the lowest coronavirus mortality rate.

White women in England and Wales have the lowest rate of death among women, at 65.7 per 100,000.

Women of black Caribbean backgrounds had the highest death rate among women, at 128.8 per 100,000 – almost double that of white women, and “significantly higher” than women from Indian, mixed race and Chinese ethnic backgrounds

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After considering socio-economic characteristics, geography and health measures, black men of an African background kept a 2.5 times higher rate of coronavirus-related death than white men, while women retained a 2.1 times greater risk.

For men, all ethnic minority groups, other than Chinese, kept a raised rate of COVID-19 mortality after those adjustments were made and in women, all groups other than Bangladeshi, Chinese and mixed ethnic groups had a higher rate.

People of a South Asian ethnic background had a higher prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, which were associated with increased COVID-19 mortality.

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COVID-19: Lancashire moved into Tier 3

The ONS suggests the differences in COVID-19 mortality rates can be put down to demographic and socio-economic factors, such as occupational exposure, rather than pre-existing health conditions.

A review was ordered over summer into why BAME people were disproportionately affected by the virus, but the government later admitted that it had “not gone far enough”, and no recommendations were made.

In June, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he had been “really struck” by the “clear difference” in the proportion of people dying with coronavirus who are from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Coronavirus: Legal challenge launched against ‘catastrophic’ restrictions on pubs, bars and restaurants | Business News

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Members of Britain’s hospitality sector have launched a legal challenge to the “catastrophic” restrictions facing the industry, which are set to be tightened further in England’s coronavirus hotspots.

The proceedings, led by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), comes as the prime minister prepares to announce a new three-tier lockdown system.

The NTIA is seeking a judicial review, arguing there is no evidence to support the suggestion that hospitality venues have contributed to the spread of COVID-19.

Live updates on coronavirus from UK and around world

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Local lockdowns could be lifted by Christmas

Pubs, restaurants, night clubs and live music venues have been devastated by the impact of coronavirus restrictions, which will be tightened up again in certain regions depending on how badly affected the region is by the pandemic.

At the same time, the government’s furlough subsidy for temporarily laid-off workers is coming to an end and will be replaced by new jobs support measures.

NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “The industry has been left with no other option but to legally challenge the so called ‘common sense’ approach narrative from government, on the implementation of further restrictions across the North of England.

“These new measures will have a catastrophic impact on late night businesses, and are exacerbated further by an insufficient financial support package presented by the chancellor in an attempt to sustain businesses through this period.

“This next round of restrictions are hugely disproportionate and unjust, with no scientific rationale or correlation to PHE (Public Health England) transmission rates, when compared to other key environments.

“Systematic closure of businesses across the UK must be challenged when there is no clear evidence or reason.”

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‘There’s been a murder’ of Glasgow’s hospitality sector

Sacha Lord, night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, said local leaders had not been presented with “any tangible scientific evidence to merit a full closure” of hospitality in the area.

But culture secretary Oliver Dowden said ministers have “robust evidence for doing this”.

He told Sky News: “The evidence shows that there is a higher risk of transmissions in hospitality settings. There is academic evidence from the United States.”

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson faces backlash from mayors in the North over new COVID-19 restrictions | Politics News

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Boris Johnson has been condemned by the mayors of northern cities as ministers plan tougher coronavirus restrictions in a bid to stem regional spikes in infections.

The prime minister is expected to order tough new curbs next week on pubs in northern England, which could include closing them altogether in Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

But the government is facing anger from local politicians who have accused ministers of failing to consult with them on the plans, as well as expressing their fears about the impact on businesses.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham claimed ministers had offered “no discussion” and “no consultation” on new COVID-19 measures.

He added on Twitter: “Millions of lives affected by Whitehall diktat. It is proving impossible to deal with this government.”

Dan Jarvis, a Labour MP and mayor of the Sheffield city region, responded to newspaper reports of new restrictions by tweeting: “Recklessly irresponsible to brief the papers but not leaders in the North who’ll somehow have to make this work. Get a grip @BorisJohnson.”

Steve Rotherham, the mayor of the Liverpool city region, said: “It is deeply disappointing to wake up this morning to reports that new COVID-19 restrictions affecting millions of people in our city region, and across the North, could be in place within days, rather than hearing it during a genuine dialogue between ministers and local leaders.”

And Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said: “We need dialogue with government, and a stronger sense of partnership, rather than diktats announced without notice.”

The anger from regional Labour politicians was also echoed by the party’s front bench, with deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeting: “An utter disgrace that millions in the North are finding out about further restrictions via leaks to newspapers or on journalists’ Twitter feeds.

“We need clarity, not more opaque briefings. The government has not learnt from its mistakes and is treating people with contempt.”

Meanwhile the leaders of Birmingham City Council have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to argue the Midlands city “must not be forced into restricting household mixing in bars and restaurants if there’s no evidence it’s spreading COVID”.

“It would cost jobs and livelihoods without making anyone safer,” added the city council’s deputy leader Brigid Jones.

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Jenrick defends govt’s lockdown approach

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said it was “not fair” to say the government was not consulting with local leaders and revealed he had spoken to Mr Burnham on Wednesday.

“We’re in regular contact with the mayors and local council leaders,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“We want to bring local leaders with us and come to decisions in the most amicable way possible.

“But it is right that the ultimate decision is taken by the government, guided by the chief medical officer.”

Coronavirus: Pandemic ‘will be bumpy through to Christmas and maybe beyond’, Boris Johnson warns | UK News

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The coronavirus pandemic “will be bumpy through to Christmas” and potentially beyond that, Boris Johnson has warned, as he said it is “too early to say” whether local lockdowns are working.

The prime minister acknowledged there will be some members of the public who are “furious at me” and “furious at the government” amid the continuing COVID-19 restrictions.

“I’ve got to tell you in all candour it’s going to continue to be bumpy through to Christmas, it may even be bumpy beyond,” he said in an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

The EU is taking legal action over Boris Johnson's controversial Internal Market Bill
Image: Boris Johnson said he believed the ‘scientific equation’ surrounding the virus will change in the coming weeks and months

“But this is the only way to do it.”

Mr Johnson said the government was “working flat out” to allow for an easing of coronavirus restrictions in time for the festive period, but he again cautioned: “Be in no doubt that it is still very possible that there are bumpy, bumpy months ahead.

“This could be a very tough winter for all of us – we’ve got to face that fact.”

He also rejected suggestions he was still feeling the effects of coronavirus – which left him in intensive care back in April – or suffering from “long” COVID, saying: “This is total tittle tattle, it is drivel. It is not tittle tattle, it is balderdash and nonsense.

“I can tell you I’m fitter than several butchers’ dogs.”

In a bid to offer some optimism, the PM said he believed “very strongly” that the “scientific equation” surrounding the virus will change in the coming weeks and months and “we will start to see progress, whether it is on vaccines or on testing, that will enable us to take a different approach”.

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Minister claims local lockdowns ‘are working’

He said it is a “possibility” that there will be “significant progress” on a vaccine this year, but he does not “want to get people’s hopes up on the vaccine unnecessarily”.

On local lockdowns, Mr Johnson was asked specifically about Oldham, which has seen its infection rate double despite being under tighter restrictions for the past six weeks.

“The advice that we’re getting is that in these areas where we’ve got stringent local lockdowns, we’ve got to wait and see if the R number starts to come down,” he said.

His interview came after government figures showed there were a further 12,872 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK as of 9am on Saturday.

A technical glitch may mean that the actual daily figure is somewhat smaller.

Mr Johnson said he understood people’s “frustration” at differing rules and restrictions for different parts of the country and that he takes “full responsibility for everything that’s happened since the pandemic began”.

But he said one the alternatives he had heard suggested was to “let it rip”, something Mr Johnson said he “just can’t accept”.

“And as prime minister I couldn’t take a course that could expose us to tens of thousands more deaths in very short order,” he said.

One aspect of the latest COVID-19 restrictions that has come in for criticism is the 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants.

Asked about this in his Marr interview, the PM defended the rule and blamed people who chose to “hobnob” outside establishments after hours for the scenes of crowds in city centres around closing time.

“Obviously it makes no sense if, having followed the guidance for all the time in the pub they then pour out into the street and hobnob in such a way as to spread the virus,” Mr Johnson said.

The PM said it had been “put to us” that bringing in a 10pm curfew could help reduce the transmission of the virus, but he did not elaborate on who had suggested it to ministers.

Mr Johnson was also questioned about the government’s Eat Out To Help Out Scheme – and whether it had unwittingly spread coronavirus further.

He did not dismiss the possibility, saying: “It was very important to keep those jobs going.

“Now, if it, insofar as that scheme may have helped to spread the virus, then obviously we need to counteract that and we need to counteract that with the discipline and the measures that we’re proposing.”