Emile Cilliers, a South African-born sergeant in the British Army, has been found guilty of trying to kill his wife and gain access to her life insurance payout.
He was convicted at the Winchester Crown Court in the UK of two attempted murder charges – which included sabotaging his wife Victoria’s parachute during a 1 200 metre skydive in 2015 – and a third count of damaging a gas valve at the home they shared, reports Herald LIVE.
The prosecution argued that Cilliers had run up debts up to R360 000, and that he planned to kill his wife and claim the R2 million life insurance payout in order to pay those debts.
A plot worthy of a murder novel, but obviously it didn’t work out for ol’ Cilliers.
Cilliers married Victoria – a captain also in the British army – at the Twelve Apostles Hotel in Cape Town back in 2011, but then their relationship turned sour.
He reportedly enjoyed a string of affairs with a woman he met on Tinder, his ex-wife and prostitutes, all while his wife was pregnant. With their relationship continuing to go downhill and the debts started piling up, the sergeant came up with his murderous scheme just five weeks after Victoria gave birth.
He bought her a ticket for a skydive, and his then nefarious plot began to unfold:
Per Sky News:
Cilliers tampered with the parachute in the toilets at the airfield, removing the slinks which attach the harness to the lines.
As soon as she jumped out of the plane that day, Mrs Cilliers [pictured below] knew something was seriously wrong because the parachute “had lots of twists and the canopy wasn’t floating”.
She explained how the whole world went into free fall. Unable to control her main parachute, Mrs Cilliers cut it away. But as the lines became twisted, her reserve chute also failed to work properly and she went crashing to the ground.
It was a miracle that she survived, but she was left with serious injuries and spent a long period recovering in intensive care. Her parachute was so badly mangled that experts said they had never seen anything quite like it.
Not even a few days after the failed attempt, Emile Cilliers “tried to gas his wife in the kitchen of the family home just a few days before the accident … Cilliers owned the pliers used to start the leak and his dried blood was found on the pipe”.
Hoo boy, talk about being busted.
A date for the sentencing has not yet been set.
Still, good riddance to bad rubbish, and all that jazz.
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