Army worker 'searched without luck for missing parachute parts in the field where the wife of a sergeant who is accused of tampering with her chute crashed to earth but survived'

Mail Online | 4/5/2015 | Joe Sheppard;Joseph Curtis For Mailonline
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An army worker today told a court how he searched for vital pieces of equipment missing from a woman's parachute, which is alleged to have been tampered with by her husband before a 4,000ft jump.

Emile Cilliers, of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court for two charges of attempting to murder his former Army officer wife Victoria Cilliers on Easter Sunday, April 5 2015.

Charge - Gas - Valve - Home - Days

The 37-year-old is also accused of a third charge of damaging a gas valve at their home a few days earlier, in the second allegation that he attempted to kill his 40-year-old wife.

Alan Westley, chief rigger of the Army Parachute Association said in a brief inspection of the parachute, club members noticed there were two missing slinks - soft links which connect the parachute's lines from a jumper's harness.

Bid - Equipment - Mr - Westley - Charge

In a bid to find the missing equipment, Mr Westley, who is in charge of inspecting and packing parachutes at the base, joined several others who went out to search for them.

But the search of a field where she had plummeted to the ground proved fruitless.

Army - Sergeant - Emile - Cilliers - Wife

Army sergeant Emile Cilliers is accused of trying to murder his wife Victoria by removing two of four slinks from her reserve parachute.

Mrs Cilliers, 40, jumped from a plane at 4,000ft but spun helplessly to the ground when her main and reserve parachute did not work.

Fall - Netheravon - Wilts - Thanks - Part

She miraculously survived the fall at Netheravon, Wilts, thanks in part to a freshly ploughed field and her light weight but broke her pelvis, ribs and fractured her vertebra.

Mr Westley said: 'We all went out at the end of the day to find the slinks. We did not find them.

Field - Area - Drop - Vicky - Landed

'We all looked in the north field, which is the area between where the drop happened and where Vicky landed.'

Mr Westley was in...
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