An army sergeant allegedly tried to murder his wife by starting a gas leak in their home and removing parts of her parachute because he wanted to leave her for someone he met on Tinder.
Royal Army Physical Training Corps sergeant Emile Cilliers, 37, has been charged with two counts of the attempted murder of his former wife, Victoria Cilliers.
Winchester Crown Court heard that Victoria suffered multiple injuries after her parachute was allegedly tampered with by her husband.
During skydiving, both her main parachute and reserve parachute failed, causing her to spiral to the ground.
The prosecutor, Michael Bowes QC, said: “Those attending at the scene expected to find her dead, although she was badly injured, almost miraculously she survived the fall.
“Those at the scene immediately realised that something was seriously wrong with her reserve parachute, two vital pieces of equipment which fasten the parachute harness were missing.
“The police investigation was widened to include the circumstances of a gas leak at Emile Cilliers’ and Victoria Cilliers’ home a few days before, and it was discovered that Emile Cilliers had deliberately caused a gas leak at the house just before he left the house to stay elsewhere.”
Cilliers is also being charged with damaging a gas valve at the couple’s home as part of the second alleged murder attempt, after which Victoria WhatsApp’d him asking “Are you trying to kill me?”
He allegedly lied to his Tinder lover, Stefanie Goller, telling her that he was going to leave his wife because she had an affair, and he was not the father of one of their children.
The court heard that Cilliers was £22,000 in debt and believed he would receive a £120,000 insurance payout if she were to die.
The trail continues.