A mother whose Army sergeant husband was found guilty of trying to kill her by sabotaging her parachute has said she does not believe he is guilty.
Victoria Cilliers said she has told her two young children that their father Emile Cilliers “has done a bad thing”, but not that he tried to kill her twice.
Cilliers, 38, of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, is awaiting sentence for two charges of attempted murder and a third of recklessly endangering life.
He was convicted following a retrial at Winchester Crown Court and has been remanded in custody until sentencing on June 15.
But his wife Victoria told the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror she does not believe he is guilty.
She said: “My family, friends, everyone seems to think they know more than I do. They see different evidence to me.”
She said her children “need a happy, well-adjusted life”, and added: “One of the hardest things to deal with has been our daughter’s questions and her hurt. She still asks regularly: ‘Where’s Daddy? When am I going to see him? Why can’t I speak to him on FaceTime?’”
Cilliers, who had “out of control” debts racked up by taking his lover on expensive holidays, first tried to kill his wife by tampering with a gas valve at their home in Amesbury, Wiltshire, at the end of March 2015.
His second attempt on her life involved sabotaging both her main and reserve parachutes, causing her to fall 4,000ft to the ground.
Mrs Cilliers, an experienced parachuting instructor, suffered near-fatal injuries in the failed jump on Easter Sunday, April 5 2015 but “miraculously survived”.
She told the newspapers that she does not believe her husband tried to kill her: “He was my husband. Yes, things might have been breaking down.
“He’d been unfaithful, he’d had issues with money, but that is not attempted murder.”