A married police officer accused of murdering his long-term lover has told a court how their affair had been “a little bubble of niceness”.
Timothy Brehmer, a police constable, is accused of the murder of Claire Parry in a Dorset pub car park on May 9.
The 41-year-old is alleged to have strangled the mother of two after she sent a text message on the defendant’s phone to his wife revealing that he had been having an affair, Salisbury Crown Court heard.
The trial at Salisbury Crown Court has heard that Brehmer had been having an affair with Mrs Parry, a nurse, for more than 10 years.
Describing the affair, Brehmer said: “We didn’t have to worry about the domestic things at home, you could be all of your good things, not your bad things, none of your vulnerabilities.
“It was a suspended state of your best self. It was an affair, that’s what you have an affair for.”
He said that over the years, they would go for months without seeing each other, and in the months prior to Mrs Parry’s death they rarely saw each other because of lockdown and only communicated through a mobile phone app called Telegram.
Brehmer added: “I didn’t want to inadvertently destroy my family, which has happened anyway, so the relationship we had, Claire and I, it was compartmentalised as it was and had been for years.
“It was its own little bubble, a little bubble of niceness.”
He said he was unaware that Mrs Parry had contacted his earlier lover Kate Rhodes, a police colleague, and had not known that Mrs Parry and her husband, Andrew, had been seeing a marriage guidance counsellor.
He said: “Claire made out everything was under control, I didn’t know it was to that big an extent it was all coming apart at the seams as far as their relationship was concerned.”
But Brehmer did describe how Mr Parry, also a police officer, had called him after becoming suspicious of their affair in March and Mrs Parry had been sending him notes on WhatsApp during the conversation so they could keep their stories straight.
He said: “I knew that he had found out about something or other but I didn’t know the extent.”
Brehmer said he had offered a “hiatus” to their affair but Mrs Parry had said she did not want to stop.
He added: “I didn’t want to be the reason her family fell apart and she didn’t want to be the reason my family fell apart.”
Brehmer admitted that he had been “moonlighting” on his job by carrying out odd jobs to earn “adventure money” to pay for special treats.
He also told the court that during his time as a traffic officer, he was assaulted causing a dislocation of his thumb leading to him being off sick for several months and requiring counselling.
Brehmer, of Hordle, Hampshire, who at the time of the incident was seconded to the National Police Air Service based at Bournemouth Airport, denies murder but has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.