Man in court accused of attempted murder over wife's botched parachute jump


An army sergeant has appeared in court accused of the attempted murder of his wife after her main parachute failed to open during a 4,000ft jump.

Emile Cilliers, 36, appeared at Salisbury Magistrates' Court to face the charge in relation to the incident at Netheravon Airfield, on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, in which Victoria Cilliers, 40, suffered "multiple serious injuries" on April 5 2015.

The defendant also faces a charge of damaging a gas fitting at the home of Mrs Cilliers in Amesbury, Wiltshire, while recklessly endangering life as well as a second charge of the attempted murder of his wife. 

These two charges are dated between March 28 and March 31 2015.

Christopher Hill, representing Cilliers, indicated that his client would plead not guilty to all three charges.

The defendant, dressed in a grey suit, white shirt and dark tie, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and his address as being at a military barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire.

Simon Browning, the chairman of the magistrates' panel, sent the case for trial at Winchester Crown Court with a plea hearing to be held on November 18.

He released Cilliers on bail until then with conditions to have no contact with his wife, not to enter Wiltshire apart for legal appointments and to surrender his passport.

Mr Browning told the defendant: "This is an indictable case only so it has to go to the crown court so you are being sent to the crown court n Winchester for the offences heard about today.

"You are going to be released on the same conditional bail you were released on before."