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Army sergeant ‘removed parachute parts in bid to kill wife’

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    Victoria Cilliers and Sgt Emile Cilliers
    Image caption Sgt Emile Cilliers denies attempting to murder Victoria Cilliers

    An Army sergeant tried to kill his wife by removing parts of her parachute, causing her to spin thousands of feet to the ground, a court has heard.

    Emile Cilliers, 37, is accused of two counts of attempted murder of his former wife, Victoria Cilliers who survived the jump on 5 April 2015.

    Winchester Crown Court heard Ms Cilliers suffered multiple injuries.

    Mr Cilliers, who denies all charges, wanted to leave his wife for a lover he had met on Tinder, prosecutors said.

    It is also claimed that just days before the jump, on 29 March 2015, the defendant tried to kill Ms Cilliers, 40, by causing a gas leak in the family home while he stayed away.

    The jury was told the Royal Army Physical Training Corps officer lied to his lover Stefanie Glover, that he was leaving his Army officer wife because she was having an affair and he was not the father of one of their children.

    Mr Cilliers, was also having an affair with his ex-wife, Carly Cilliers, the court heard.

    Prosecutor Michael Bowes QC said Mr Cilliers, who was based at Aldershot, Hampshire, had debts of £22,000 and believed he would receive a £120,000 life insurance payout on his wife’s death.

    Image copyright PA
    Image caption Emile Cilliers made up lies about his wife having an affair, the court heard

    Mr Bowes QC, said Victoria Cilliers was a highly experienced parachutist and instructor but when she jumped out of the plane 4,000ft (1,200m) above Netheravon Airfield in Wiltshire “both her main parachute and her reserve parachute failed”.

    “Those attending at the scene expected to find her dead, although she was badly injured, almost miraculously she survived the fall.

    “Those at the scene immediately realised that something was seriously wrong with her reserve parachute, two vital pieces of equipment which fasten the parachute harness were missing,” he said.

    He added that at the time of the murder attempts, Mr Cilliers was leaving his wife and treated her with “callousness and contempt”.

    The third allegation, which the 37-year-old also denies, is damaging a gas fitting, reckless to endangerment of life.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-41499604

    The trial continues.

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