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  1. ITV Report

Victoria Cilliers tells husband's trial near-fatal parachute jump was going to be her last

Victoria Cilliers suffered multiple injuries but survived the fall at Netheravon Airfield on Salisbury Plain in 2015. Photo:

The wife of an Army sergeant accused of trying to murder her by tampering with her parachute says she had decided before the fateful jump it would be her last.

Victoria Cilliers said she considered the skydive in April 2015 a "test" of her will to continue to be an instructor.

The 42-year-old survived falling to earth after cutting away her main parachute and her reserve chute failing.

Her husband Emile Cilliers is accused of taking the parachute with him into the toilets at the airbase and allegedly twisting the lines of the main parachute and removing slinks from the reserve.

Mrs Cilliers told the court last week she believed the incident was 'not a conceivable accident'.

The jury at Winchester Crown Court heard a third police interview Mrs Cilliers gave in August 2016, in which she said: "It probably was going to be my last jump.

It was something Emile fully supported.

– Victoria Cilliers

Explaining her feelings in the lead up to the jump, Mrs Cilliers said going back to skydiving after becoming a mother was a "mental battle".

"It's hard to give up a massive part of you - it's part of my identity.

"Deep down I did not want to do it but I knew I had to in order to be sure I did not want to jump again."

Mrs Cilliers landed in a field near to the airfield. Credit: ITV News

She also told officers she doubted whether the main parachute had malfunctioned because she had "completely" lost confidence in her ability.

"You have more confidence in your reserve parachute. I'm an instructor, no-one is going to question why I cut it away.

"It was more my mental state. I cannot categorically say the main was a malfunctioning parachute."

She said she agreed with others when they suggested the reason the main parachute failed was as a result of the lines being twisted during packing, because she was "embarrassed".

I was quite embarrassed to admit I potentially cut away a reasonable parachute, but I just completely lost confidence.

– Victoria Cilliers

Emile Cilliers, 37, denies two counts of attempted murder and a third charge of damaging a gas valve, recklessly endangering life.