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Who is Emile Cilliers in C4’s The Fall: Skydive Murder Plot and how did he try to kill his wife Victoria

LOVE rat British Army sergeant Emile Cilliers was jailed after  to murder his wife in a staged skydiving accident.

After the evil husband was found guilty at his second trial he was given a lengthy prison sentence.

Simon Jones - The Sun
Emile Cilliers arrives at Winchester Crown Court for the start of his trial[/caption]

Who is Emile Cilliers?

South-African born Emile Cilliers is a former instructor in the Royal Army Physical Training Corps based in Aldershot, Hants.

He was jailed for trying to murder his wife by sabotaging her parachute.

Cilliers also tried to kill her by tampering with gas pipes at their marital home.

Evil Emile was married to second wife Victoria, a parachute instructor, but a jury heard he was having two extramarital affairs. He was also said to be £22K in debt.

Giving evidence, Victoria told Winchester Crown Court she “despised” her husband, and realised he was being unfaithful in November 2014.

Mrs Cilliers said: “Cracks were starting to show, I was aware around that time, I had suspicions before that he was having an affair.”

She told the court that Emile was “bad with money” and that she had cut her husband out of her will, leaving the house to their children.

What was Emile Cillers convicted of?

On April 5, 2015, Easter Sunday, Victoria Cilliers suffered multiple injuries when her main and reserve parachutes failed to deploy properly over Salisbury Plain.

Her husband had invited her on the skydive as a treat but vanished into the toilets with her chute before she set off.

Prosecutors said he had cut vital pieces of kit called slinks, causing her to spiral out of control and plummet 4,000ft.  

Victoria, an army physiotherapist and a “highly experienced parachute instructor”, broke her leg, collarbone and ribs when the main parachute and reserve chute failed.

Emile was also accused of damaging a gas valve at their home in a bid to spark a gas blast days before the parachute horror.

The court heard that marks left on a crucial nut on the tampered valve matched pliers used by the soldier. When Victoria noticed the damaged valve, she jokingly texted him: “Are you trying to kill me?”.

Pixel 8000
Emile with the ex-wife he twice tried to kill, Victoria Cilliers[/caption]

Michael Bowes QC told the court Emile was treating his wife with “callousness and contempt” around the time of the botched murder attempts.

In October 2018, more than three years after she almost died, brave Victoria took her first skydive since the horror.

Cilliers denied all wrongdoing. After a seven-week trial at Winchester Crown Court, the jury was discharged after failing to reach verdicts.

This was wicked offending of extreme gravity. Your offending was extremely serious with your two attempts to murder your wife.

Judge Mr Justice Sweeney

He was then tried a second time and the new jury found him guilty of two counts of attempted murder and one of criminal damage recklessly endangering life.

He was jailed for life with a minimum of 18 years.

Sentencing judge Mr Justice Sweeney said: “This was wicked offending of extreme gravity.”

He added: “Your offending was extremely serious with your two attempts to murder your wife.

“They were planned and carried out in cold blood for your own selfish purposes which include financial gain.”

Describing the impact on Mrs Cilliers, the judge continued: “That your wife recovered at all was miraculous.

“She undoubtedly suffered severe physical harm and she must have suffered psychological harm in the terror of the fall and since.

“She appears to have recovered from the physical harm but not, having seen her in the witness box at length, from the psychological harm.”

PA:Press Association

How many children does Emile Cillers have with wife Victoria?

Victoria and Emile had two children together, a daughter and son.

Before the events of 2015, the family lived together in their home in Amesbury, Wiltshire.

In fact, the two young children were both in that house with their mother after Emile tampered with a gas valve in his first murder attempt in March 2015.

Simon Buck / Channel 4
MyAnna Buring plays Victoria in the reconstruction for Channel 4’s The Fall[/caption]

How to watch The Fall: Skydive Murder Plot

Channel 4’s The Fall: Skydive Murder Plot will air over three consecutive nights kicking off on June 11, 2024, at 9pm.

The brand new series will lay bare the incidents of the attempted murder of Victoria by her husband Emile.

This docuseries features a dramatic reconstruction starring MyAnna Buring as Victoria, as well as testimony from real-life detectives DC Maddy Hennah and DI Paul Franklin.

There is also a Netflix documentary called The Parachute Murder Plot which you can stream right now.

'Near miracle' saved Victoria from dying in parachute fall

A soft patch of newly-ploughed field was the only thing that saved the life of Victoria Cilliers after her near-fatal fall.

On Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015, the highly-experienced parachutist made a routine recreational jump at Netheravon Airfield in Wiltshire.

As she jumped from the aircraft, first of all her main parachute malfunctioned.

A rare but not unheard of problem had occurred where her lines were twisted, and she followed her training and cut away the canopy of the main parachute.

But in an unprecedented incident, her reserve ‘chute then failed.

Two slinks were missing, meaning that the main lines on one side of the canopy were not connected to her harness, with a brake cable the only thing attached on that side.

This caused the reserve to not inflate properly and led to her spiralling out of control and at high speed to the ground.

Describing the final moments of her rapid descent, Victoria said: “The last thing I remember is trying to get some kind of control over it, trying to open as many cells as I could – then everything went black.

“I do not know if it was the G force or the impact but everything cut out.”

Her survival has been described as a “near-miracle” and the only reason she did not suffer fatal injuries was the soft soil of the ploughed field where she landed. Her light weight was also attributed as a factor in helping to minimise her injuries.

But her final piece of luck was that the spot where she landed was just 16ft from a small country lane, which would undoubtedly have caused fatal injuries.

 

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