Army sergeant awaiting attempted murder trial cleared to join Paris rowing event

An Army sergeant awaiting trial for the attempted murder of his wife whose parachute failed to open during a 1,200-metre (4,000ft) jump is to be allowed by the courts to travel to Paris to take part in a rowing contest.

Emile Cilliers has pleaded not guilty to three charges in relation to his wife Victoria Cilliers, 40, who suffered multiple serious injuries at Netheravon airfield, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, on April 5 2015.

During a preliminary hearing at Winchester Crown Court, the judge, Mrs Justice May, granted permission for the 36-year-old defendant to visit France between February 2 and 4 for the European Rowing Indoor Championships.

In November, Salisbury Crown Court allowed Cilliers to travel to Germany and Austria to attend ski leaders' courses.

Mrs Justice May told Cilliers: "The court has set a date for your trial on June 7 for a time period of between five and six weeks.

"Your bail will remain as before on condition of no contact with Victoria Cilliers or any other prosecution witnesses, you are not to go to Netheravon or Amesbury and your passport remains in the possession of the Army or police at all times.

"The court has heard you will be in Paris between February 2 and 4 your passport will remain in the possession of Lieutenant Colonel Scarr at all times."

Cilliers, of Aldershot, Hampshire, denies two charges of attempting to murder his wife last year.

One offence is alleged to have taken place between March 24 and 31, and the second between April 3 and 6.

He also denies damaging a gas fitting belonging to his wife between March 28 and 31. 

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