Man guilty of trying to murder wife by tampering with parachute

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He had also been in contact with sex workers, had heavy debts, was being chased by loan companies and upped his insurance policy so he would benefit if his wife died.

Undated handout photo issued by Wiltshire Police of Victoria Cilliers tampered with parachute.

Less than a week before the parachute jump, Emile Cilliers loosened a gas valve at his home on 30th March 2015, hoping Victoria, would turn on the cooker and create an explosion.

She plummeted to the ground as horrified onlookers watched, but she survived the impact of the fall, apparently because of her slight build and because she landed on recently plowed soft ground.

Jurors convicted Army Sgt. Emile Cilliers, 38, on Thursday of two attempted murder charges and a third count of damaging the gas fitting following a trial at Winchester Crown Court.

A "very unsafe, coercive and manipulative" Army sergeant has been found guilty of attempting to murder his wife by tampering with her parachute and sabotaging a gas valve at their home.

Victoria's light weight was also identified as a factor in helping to minimise her injuries.


The missing slinks from Mrs Cilliers' parachute were never found and the prosecution case was that the defendant had taken them out and disposed of them.

Victoria Cilliers suffered near-fatal injuries when her main and reserve parachutes failed during a jump at the Army Parachute Association at Netheravon, Wiltshire, on Easter Sunday, 2015.

The judge added that he would have to consider the "dangerousness" of the defendant. "I was spinning", she said.

"The evidence all pointed to Emile Cilliers as the man with the motive and the opportunity to commit these calculated attempts to murder his wife", said senior prosecutor Amanda Sawetz in a statement. On two separate occasions he made serious attempts to murder Victoria.

"Emotional and financial abuse is as deeply traumatizing as those who suffer physical domestic violence and victims can suffer the after effects for many years afterwards".

A date for Emile Cilliers' sentencing has not yet been set.

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