Wiltshire

Parachute plunge trial: Jury retires to consider verdicts

Victoria Cilliers and Sgt Emile Cilliers
Image caption Emile Cilliers denies attempting to murder Victoria Cilliers on 5 April 2015

The jury in the case of an Army sergeant accused of trying to murder his wife has retired to consider its verdicts.

Victoria Cilliers was seriously injured in a 4,000ft (1,200m) parachute fall at Netheravon Airfield in 2015.

Emile Cilliers, 37, denies two counts of attempted murder and a third charge of damaging a gas valve, recklessly endangering life.

The five-week trial has been taking place at Winchester Crown Court.

During his summing up, judge Mr Justice Sweeney told the jury he would only accept unanimous verdicts at this stage.

He said jurors must not feel any pressure of time during their deliberations.

"It is by that route that we will ensure that you return true verdicts according to the evidence," he told them.

Ms Cilliers suffered multiple injuries when her hired parachute malfunctioned and the reserve failed at the Wiltshire airfield on 5 April 2015.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Emile Cilliers denies tampering with his wife's kit in a toilet cubicle at the Army Parachute Association

Jurors were told her survival was a "near miracle".

The defendant denies tampering with his wife's kit in a toilet cubicle at the Army Parachute Association.

The father-of-six also denies a second attempted murder charge relating to a gas leak at the family home in Amesbury, Wiltshire, and a third charge of damaging a gas valve, recklessly endangering life.

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