LONDON – A former British Army sergeant who tried to kill his wife by sabotaging her parachute has been sentenced to at least 18 years in prison.
Sgt. Emile Cilliers was convicted last month of two counts of attempted murder for the parachute tampering and sabotaging a gas valve at the couple's home.
Victoria Cilliers survived falling 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) in April 2015 by landing on a newly plowed field.
Prosecutors said the 38-year-old defendant was deeply in debt and wanted his wife's life insurance money to pay off his bills and start a new life with his lover.
Cilliers was sentenced Friday at Winchester Crown Court in southern England to life with no chance of parole for 18 years. Judge Nigel Sweeney told him "this was wicked offending of extreme gravity."