Emile Cilliers parachute trial jury fails to reach verdict

Victoria Cilliers and Sgt Emile Cilliers

Image caption

Emile Cilliers denied attempting to murder Victoria Cilliers on 5 April 2015

Jurors have failed to reach a verdict in the trial of an Army sergeant accused of trying to murder his wife.

Emile Cilliers denied tampering with Victoria Cilliers’ parachute at Netheravon Airfield, Wiltshire, where she suffered near-fatal injuries in 2015.

Mr Cilliers, 37, faces a retrial on two charges of attempted murder and another of criminal damage.

The jury was discharged after a seven-week trial at Winchester Crown Court.

Parachuting instructor Mrs Cilliers, 40, survived a 4,000ft fall on Easter Sunday when both her main and reserve parachutes failed.

Prosecutors also claimed the defendant made another attempt to kill her by deliberately causing a gas leak in the family home days before the fall.

The Crown Prosecution Service has said it will seek a retrial on all three charges.

Jurors began deliberations last Tuesday.

A week later, after they had discussed the case for more than 23 hours, judge Mr Justice Sweeney told them he would accept a majority verdict.

Two jurors, including the forewoman, fell ill and were released after the judge issued the direction.

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