Soldier ‘tampered with wife’s parachute in bid to kill her’

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    Sgt Emile Cilliers (taken on 12 April 2018)
    Image caption Sgt Emilie Cilliers was having two affairs and also using prostitutes, the court heard

    An Army sergeant who was having two affairs tampered with his wife’s parachute to try and kill her, a court has heard.

    Emile Cilliers, 38, of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, faces two charges of attempted murder.

    A retrial at Winchester Crown Court heard Mr Cilliers held his wife Victoria “in contempt” and “wanted to get rid of her permanently”.

    Mr Cilliers denies all the charges against him.

    Victoria Cilliers was seriously injured when her main and reserve parachutes failed during a jump at the Army Parachute Association at Netheravon, Wiltshire, on Easter Sunday, 5 April 2015.

    Image caption Victoria Cilliers almost died in the 2015 parachute jump

    The jury was told the case was a retrial but the previous outcome was not relevant to the new trial.

    The prosecution told jurors the defendant was having an affair with a woman called Stefanie Goller.

    Michael Bowes QC told the court Mr Cilliers was also having a “sexual relationship” with his ex-wife Carly Cilliers and had “contact with a number of prostitutes”.

    He was also £22,000 in debt and believed he was set to receive a £120,000 insurance payout in the event of his wife’s accidental death, Mr Bowes said.

    Mr Cilliers also denies a charge of damaging a gas fitting recklessly endangering life.

    This allegation refers to a gas valve being damaged at the couple’s family home in Amesbury, Wiltshire, a few days prior to the near-fatal parachute jump.

    The trial continues.

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