Wife admits to lying to police about army sergeant husband accused of sabotaging her parachute

Emile Cilliers denies trying to murder his wife Victoria (Picture: PA)

A woman whose army sergeant husband is accused of sabotaging her parachute in an attempt to kill her has said she lied to police during an interview.

Victoria Cilliers almost died after her main and reserve parachutes failed during a 4,000ft jump in 2015.

Emile Cilliers, 38, of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, is accused of sabotaging the parachutes and tampering with a gas valve at the family home in Wiltshire a few days earlier.

Mrs Cilliers was injured at the Army Parachute Association base at Netheravon, Wiltshire, on Easter Sunday, April 5 2015.

Victoria Cilliers admitted lying to police (Picture: PA)

She did not appear to be in physical discomfort in the witness box and remained standing throughout her evidence.

Mrs Cilliers told the jury at a retrial at Winchester Crown Court on Tuesday that she had “elaborated” during a police interview around a month after the incident.

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In her original statement she said she had been concerned about the amount of time Cilliers had spent in the toilet with her parachute the day before.

Prosecutor Michael Bowes QC asked: “In your statement were you telling the truth?”

“I elaborated,” she replied.

Mr Bowes said: “Were you telling the truth?”

“No,” Mrs Cilliers responded.

“So what you are telling the jury is that when you made that statement you lied?” Mr Bowes continued.

Netheravon Airfield in Wiltshire, where army sergeant Emile Cilliers allegedly tampered with his wife Victoria Cilliers’ parachute (Picture: PA)
A view of an aeroplane (similar to the one used by Victoria Cilliers) used for skydiving at Netheravon Airfield in Wiltshire (Picture: PA)

“I’m not saying I’m lying completely. I was angry when I made that statement and lied throughout it in order to paint Emile in a bad picture,” she said.

Cilliers was £22,000 in debt and believed he would get a £120,000 insurance payout in the event of his wife’s accidental death, the court has heard.

He was having affairs with a woman called Stefanie Goller and his ex-wife Carly Cilliers at the time.

He also arranged to have unprotected sex with a number of prostitutes, the jury was told.

He faces two charges of attempted murder and a third count of damaging a gas fitting recklessly endangering life, all of which he denies.

Last November, the jury in the original trial failed to reach a verdict, forcing a retrial.

The trial continues.