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Woman’s parachute fails to open: husband charged

A British army sergeant has been charged with attempted murder after his wife's parachute failed to open.

A 36 year-old man has been charged with attempted murder after his wife’s parachute failed to open during a 40,000ft jump.

Victoria Cilliers, 40, plunged to the ground during a routine jump, but miraculously managed to survive. She suffered multiple serious injuries including broken ribs, a broken collarbone, a broken leg and spinal injuries when her main and reserve canopies malfunctioned during the solo jump on Easter Sunday last year.

Her husband Emile Cilliers, an instructor with the Royal Army Physical Training Corps attached to the Royal Engineers, was arrested afterwards and faces two charges.

Mother-of-two Victoria had given birth to the couple’s second child just four weeks before the incident. Wiltshire Police said that her main parachute had failed to open and her reserve canopy partially deployed, slowing her descent to around 30mph before she crashed into a field.

Emile was questioned the day after the accident, and arrested on suspicion of attempted murder the following month.

Ian Harris, from the Crown Prosecution Service Wessex, said: “The CPS has today authorised the police to charge Emile Cilliers with two charges of attempting to murder his wife, Victoria Cilliers, and with a further charge of criminal damage reckless to the endangerment of the lives of two children.”

Emile has been released on bail and is due to appear in court next month.

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