Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Dublin: 15°C Monday 15 August 2022
Advertisement

British army sergeant guilty of attempting to murder wife by tampering with parachute

38-year-old Emile Cilliers tried to kill his wife twice, the other attempt involving a gas leak being caused on purpose at their home.

Emile Cilliers court case Emile Cilliers Source: PA Archive/PA Images

A BRITISH ARMY sergeant has been found guilty of attempting to murder his wife on two occasions, by tampering with her parachute and causing a gas leak at their home.

The jury at Winchester Crown Court in southern England heard that Emile Cilliers (38) loosened a gas valve at his home in March 2015, hoping his wife Victoria would turn on the cooker.

The couple’s two young children were in the house at the time, but the attempt failed.

Less than a week later, the victim suffered severe injuries to her spine, leg and ribs after miraculously surviving a fall from 4,000 feet (1,200 metres) when her parachute failed.

Cilliers had taken the chute into a toilet cubicle at the airfield and sabotaged it, causing both the main and reserve chutes to fail.

“It became apparent from an early stage that the only possible cause of the failure of both the main chute and the reserve was deliberate human intervention,” said prosecutor Amanda Sawetz.

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.

An experienced parachutist, the victim managed to slow her fall from around 100 miles-per-hour to 30 miles-per-hour, with her reserve chute partially opening shortly before impact.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

A member of her parachute club in southwest England said that she had been fortunate to land in a freshly-ploughed field.

Cilliers, originally from South Africa, will be sentenced at a later date.

© – AFP, 2018

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (25)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel