Parachute trial hears Emile Cilliers' wife Victoria was 'out for his blood'

Bethany Minelle, News Reporter

A woman who fell 4,000ft after her husband allegedly tampered with her parachute says she was "out for his blood" following the near-fatal fall.

Victoria Cilliers, 40, who was a parachute instructor, suffered a fractured spine and pelvis, and broken ribs when both her main and reserve parachute failed during a jump in April 2015.

Her husband, Emile Cilliers, 37, is accused of sabotaging her parachute in the men's toilet at Netheravon airfield.

In her original police statement, Mrs Cilliers said he was in the toilet for between two and five minutes.

But while giving evidence in the trial at Winchester Crown Court, she said she may have been generous with "time-scales", admitting: "I was angry I was out for his blood...

"I was humiliated and wanted him to suffer," she added.

When asked if she had always told the truth, she said: "Not always. The extent of his lies and deceit had been disclosed to me and I just wanted to get my own back to a certain extent."

She told the court the true time "was probably somewhere in between" two and five minutes.

In November 2014 - when she realised their marriage was in trouble - she re-wrote her will, leaving the house to the children because Cilliers was "bad with money".

Cilliers remained the recipient of her life insurance policy and the contents of the house.

She also told the court that in the February before the accident, the knowledge of her husband's affair had pushed her to suicidal thoughts.

The court was previously told that while Mrs Cilliers was undergoing surgery in hospital, Cilliers had texted lewd messages to his lover.

Cilliers also stands accused of damaging a gas valve at the couple's home a few days before her jump, as part of a second alleged murder attempt.

As well as a "conclusive" match for markings with Cilliers' mole-grip pliers, dried blood found on the pipe was also a match, the jury was told.

Cilliers denies both charges of attempted murder, and one charge of criminal damage as to recklessly endanger life.

The army fitness instructor had never parachuted before meeting Victoria in a gym in 2009.

He had later been "fast-tracked" through the early stages of the parachuting course due to his relationship Mrs Cilliers, who introduced him to the sport and taught him to pack parachutes.

The trial continues.