Monday, February 12, 2018

Army sergeant who 'tried to kill his skydiver wife by tampering with her parachute before she jumped from 4,000 ft' appears in court ahead of new trial

An army sergeant accused of trying to kill his wife by tampering with her parachute before she jumped from 4,000 ft today appeared in court.

Emile Cilliers, 37, faces a retrial in April where he is accused of twice attempting to murder Victoria Cilliers, 40.

Cilliers is said to have sabotaged his wife's parachute before it failed to deploy when she made the jump in Wiltshire in 2015.

Mrs. Cilliers, an experienced army physiotherapist and parachute instructor, suffered near-fatal injuries after the dive on Easter Sunday in April.

She sustained a broken leg, collarbone and cracked ribs when the main and reserve chute failed to deploy properly, causing her to spiral out of control on Salisbury Plain.

Prosecutors claim South African-born Cilliers tampered with the parachute just days after deliberately damaging a gas valve at the family home in Amesbury, Wiltshire, in a bid to kill his wife.

The jury in the first trial failed to reach a verdict having poured over the evidence for approximately 30 hours at Winchester Crown Court following a seven-week trial.

Cilliers was based in Aldershot, Hampshire, and worked with the Royal Army Physical Training Corps - attached to the Royal Engineers.

The a father-of-six, attended the Old Bailey today dressed in a smart black suit for hisbrief pre-trial review hearing in front of Mr Justice Sweeney. 

Cilliers, of the Aldershot Barracks, denies two counts of attempted murder and one count of criminal damage as to recklessly endanger life.

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