US News Parachute retrial: Soldier 'cared nothing' for wife he 'tried to murder'

20:45  12 april  2018
20:45  12 april  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

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Sharing is caring ! An Army sergeant accused of trying to kill his wife is set to face a retrial after a jury failed to reach a verdict. Emile Cilliers denied tampering with Victoria Cilliers’ parachute at Netheravon Airfield, Wiltshire, where she suffered near-fatal injuries in 2015.

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File photo of Emile Cilliers, who faces two charges of attempted murder and a third count of damaging a gas fitting at Winchester Crown Court after being accused of attempting to murder his wife Victoria. © PA File photo of Emile Cilliers, who faces two charges of attempted murder and a third count of damaging a gas fitting at Winchester Crown Court after being accused of attempting to murder his wife Victoria.

A soldier thought he would get an insurance payout for his wife's death when he allegedly tampered with her parachute, a court has heard.

Emile Cilliers, 38, of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, faces two charges of attempted murder and a third of damaging a gas fitting to recklessly endanger her life.

Winchester Crown Court has been told that he allegedly sabotaged his wife Victoria's main and reserve parachutes before a jump at the Army Parachute Association at Netheravon, Wiltshire, on 5 April, 2015.

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Army sergeant faces attempted murder retrial for 'sabotaging his wife 's parachute ' before she survived 4,000ft Prosecutors say he sabotaged his wife 's parachute before 4,000ft jump. An Army sergeant accused of trying to kill his wife by tampering with her parachute will be re - tried next month.

Army sergeant who ' tried to kill his skydiver wife by tampering with her parachute before she jumped Emile Cilliers faces a retrial and is accused of trying to murder his wife Victoria He is said to have sabotaged his wife 's parachute when it failed to deploy in 2015

Mrs Cilliers, an experienced parachutist and parachute instructor, suffered serious injuries after jumping out of a plane at 4000ft with the defective parachute.

Her husband is also accused of tampering with a gas valve at the family's home in Amesbury, Wiltshire, a few days earlier, while he was staying elsewhere.

Cilliers denies the charges.

File photo dated 26/10/17 of Victoria Cilliers, who almost died after her main parachute failed to open in a 4,000ft jump at Netheravon Airfield on Salisbury Plain on April 5 2015 © PA File photo dated 26/10/17 of Victoria Cilliers, who almost died after her main parachute failed to open in a 4,000ft jump at Netheravon Airfield on Salisbury Plain on April 5 2015 Michael Bowes QC, prosecuting, told the court that Cilliers had been having an affair with a woman called Stefanie Goller, as well as a "sexual relationship" with his ex-wife Carly Cilliers and "contact with a number of prostitutes".

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AN ARMY sergeant tried to murder his wife by sabotaging her parachute because he wanted to pick up her £120,000 life insurance and move in with the secret Mr Bowes said that by the time of the two alleged murder attempts, he “ cared little” for his wife treating her with “callousness and contempt”.

An Army sergeant is to face a retrial on charges of attempting to murder his wife by tampering with her parachute after the first jury failed to reach verdicts. Emile Cilliers, 37, of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps

He had also been £22,000 in debt and thought the accidental death of his wife would get him a £120,000 insurance payout, Mr Bowes added.

The fall experienced by Mrs Cilliers was so severe that those who rushed to her aid "expected to find her dead", the court heard.

"Those at the scene immediately realised something was wrong with her reserve parachute, two vital pieces of equipment which fix the parachute to the parachutist's harness were missing and their absence meant her reserve parachute would inevitably fail and the parachutist would just spin to the ground," Mr Bowes said.

"(Cilliers) wanted to be rid of her and wanted to live his life on his own terms. He cared nothing for her and in truth cared only for himself.

File video: Emile Cilliers gives evidence at Winchester CC (Provided by ITN News)

"He had decided to get rid of her permanently."

Cilliers is on trial for a second time at Winchester Crown Court, after the jury in his first trial failed to reach a verdict.

Mr Justice Sweeney told the nine men and three women in the second jury that the failure of their predecessors to reach verdicts was "wholly irrelevant to your decisions".

The trial continues.

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