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Army sergeant accused of attempting to murder wife allowed to go skiing

Emile Cilliers
Emile Cilliers

An army sergeant accused of attempting to murder his wife after her main parachute failed to open during a 4,000ft jump has had his bail conditions amended so he can go skiing.

Emile Cilliers, 36, pleaded not guilty when he appeared at Salisbury Crown Court to face three charges in relation to his wife Victoria Cilliers, 40.

She suffered multiple serious injuries at Netheravon Airfield, on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, on April 5 2015.

Cilliers, of Aldershot, Hampshire, denied two charges of attempting to murder his wife during the short hearing at the court.

One charge is alleged between March 24 and 31 last year, while the second is alleged between April 3 and 6 last year.

Cilliers also denied a charge of damaging a gas fitting belonging to his wife, while recklessly endangering life, between March 28 and 31 last year.

Judge Keith Cutler, the Recorder of Winchester, adjourned the case for a date to be fixed and released Cilliers on bail.

"It is likely to be a trial of five weeks length, perhaps in May or the summer part of next year," the judge told the defendant.

Cilliers, from South Africa, spoke only to answer "not guilty" to the three charges alleged against him.

The court heard Cilliers' bail conditions include having no contact with his wife, not to enter Wiltshire apart from legal appointments and to surrender his passport.

Christopher Hill, representing Cilliers, applied for his passport to be in the possession of police or the Army, so his client could attend ski courses abroad.

"The proposition is there's a ski leaders' course in Bavaria, with a transfer by bus and ferry," Mr Hill said. "Then there's another ski course in Austria. The request is that he is allowed to attend those."

The judge said the passport should be in the possession of the police and the Army. "This case comes first," he told Cilliers. "I will renew your bail in those amended terms.

"There's likely to be a further hearing in probably February or March for a further administrative-type hearing.

"That may or may not happen here in Salisbury or in Winchester."