LONDON – An army sergeant from Royal Army Physical Training Corps tried to murder his wife by removing parts of her parachute because he wanted to leave her for his lover, a British court has heard.
Emile Cilliers, 37, from the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, is accused of attempting to murder his wife not once, but twice.
Victoria Cilliers suffered serious injuries when both her main and reserve parachute failed, sending her plummeting thousands of feet to the ground at Wiltshire’s Netheravon Airfield in April 2015.
The court heard the decision to go parachuting comes after Cilliers damaged a gas valve at the couple’s home a few days earlier as part of another alleged murder attempt.
It’s alleged both attempts on the 40-year-old’s life were made so Cilliers could be with his Tinder lover, Stefanie Goller.
Prosecutor Michael Bowes told Winchester Crown Court that Cilliers had lied to Ms Goller, telling her that he was going to leave his wife because she had an affair and that he was not the father of one of their children.
The defendant, who was described as a “highly experienced parachutist and parachute instructor”, was $30,000 in debt and believed he would get a $159,000 insurance payout when his wife died, the court heard.
“Those attending at the scene expected to find her dead, although she was badly injured, almost miraculously she survived the fall,” Mr Bowes told the court.
“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.
“Their absence inevitably meant the reserve parachute would fail and would send her spinning to the ground.”
The jury also heard that he was in a sexual relationship with his ex-wife, Carly Cilliers.
Mr Bowes described how police went on to investigate the circumstances surrounding a gas leak at the couple’s home a few days before.
The prosecutor told jurors that Cilliers had caused it deliberately “just before he left the house to stay elsewhere”.
Following the leak, Victoria Cilliers had sent a WhatsApp to her husband, and jokingly asked “are you trying to kill me?”
“Seriously, why are you saying that?” her husband replied.
Within hours of that failed attempt, Mr Bowes added, the defendant suggested to his wife that they go parachuting.
“You want to go jump this weekend?” he said in a text.
“Would love to,” she replied.
Cilliers, of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps based at Aldershot, Hampshire, denies two charges of attempted murder and one of criminal damage recklessly endangering life.
The trial continues at Winchester Crown Court.
Source: Yahoo News, The Sun