British Sergeant Found Guilty of Attempting to Kill Wife by Sabotaging Parachute

A British Army sergeant was convicted Thursday of attempting to kill his wife by tampering with her parachute before they both went skydiving, The New York Times reported. Sgt. Emile Cilliers, who had pleaded not guilty to two charges of attempted murder, wanted to kill his wife so he could start a new life with another woman—and receive a life insurance payout that would help cover his mounting debt, prosecutors said, according to the newspaper. Cilliers allegedly tried to kill his wife, Victoria, by first causing a gas leak in their home and then sabotaging her parachute so that it would not deploy. But Victoria Cilliers survived the fall due to her slight build and by landing on “recently plowed soft ground.” She broke her back, ribs, and pelvis, and also sustained “internal injuries.” Emile Cilliers reportedly was having affairs with his ex-wife and a woman he met on a dating site, whom he was texting with while tending to his wife after she her parachute jump. Cilliers also took out high-interest payday loans and used his wife’s money to take his mistress on vacation and to pay for prostitutes, prosecutors said. “I’m a very sexual man,” he reportedly said during the trial.