Jury considers verdict in parachute plunge case

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Emile Cilliers, 37, on the left, arriving at Winchester Crown Court.

Army sergeant Emile Cilliers, 37, is accused of two counts of attempted murder against his wife; Victoria Cilliers.

First by causing a gas leak in their marital home and secondly by sabotaging her parachute before she went skydiving.

Emile Cilliers denies all of the charges.

The jury were sent out to begin deliberation on Tuesday 14th November.

Throughout the trial which is in its sixth week, prosecuting QC Michael Bowes presented texts and emails between Mr Cilliers and the three different women he was seeing. These messages showed him lying in order to carry on these affairs.

The prosecution claimed that these messages showed he was “coercive, abusive, callous, contemptuous” towards Victoria and that he “took advantage” of her “financially to support his excessive spending habits”.

The defence said Mr Cilliers was being portrayed as a “pantomime villain” and that despite his “financial incontinence”, “self indulgent spending habits”, his affairs and his admitted habitual lying, he was a good father who cooked for his family and did DIY around the house.

Michael Bowes, prosecuting, claims Mr Cilliers’ motives were to get rid of private debt he had with Victoria, to receive a £120,000 life insurance payment from her death, and lastly to carry on his affair with Stefanie Goller, whom he met on Tinder.

Elizabeth Marsh QC, for the defence, said the methods Mr Cilliers supposedly used showed a “lack of preparation” for someone who would be killing for money.

Lastly, in response to Mr Cilliers’ repetitive lies, Ms Marsh QC said “lies that fan the flames of lust are not motive for murder”.

The jury, consisting of nine women and three men continue to deliberate at Winchester Crown Court.