Parachute trial: Emile Cilliers 'manipulated wife'

image copyrightPA
image captionEmile Cilliers denies attempting to murder Victoria Cilliers on 5 April 2015

An Army sergeant accused of trying to kill his wife by tampering with her parachute was "coercive" and "manipulative", a jury has been told.

Emile Cilliers was accused of trying to make his wife feel guilty when she thought he was having an affair, writing of her fears on Facebook.

The court heard the 37-year-old was "hurt" by the suggestion he was unfaithful.

Mr Cilliers denies attempting to murder Victoria Cilliers on 5 April 2015.

The court previously heard how the defendant exchanged messages with lover Stefanie Goller while his wife was in hospital.

Jurors at Winchester Crown Court were also told how Mr Cilliers was meeting his ex-wife Carly for sex at the same time as arranging a holiday with Ms Goller.

image captionJurors were told Victoria Cilliers' survival was a "near miracle"

During cross examination, Michael Bowes QC, prosecuting, said the Facebook message Victoria Cilliers wrote about him cheating on her was "absolutely true".

Mr Bowes said Mr Cilliers had been "coercive and manipulative" when he tried to make his wife feel bad for posting the message.

Addressing the defendant, he said: "You were trying to make her feel guilty."

Mr Cilliers replied: "That's your opinion".

'Random and spontaneous'

Ms Cilliers suffered multiple injuries when her hired parachute malfunctioned and the reserve failed as she plummeted 4,000ft to the ground at Netheravon Airfield, Wiltshire.

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

Mr Cilliers was accused of treating his wife with "contempt" and was asked why he sent a message to his girlfriend Stephanie Goller which said "I can do random and spontaneous" from April onwards, the court heard.

The defendant denies tampering with his wife's hire 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.

The trial continues.

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