A WIFE who was nearly killed after she jumped from a plane with a parachute that had been tampered with by her husband has revealed the twisted nature of their marriage.
Victoria Cilliers, who was at the centre of one of the country's most shocking murder plots, said how her husband begged her to rekindle their marriage after he was imprisoned.
Victoria told how her cheating husband, who had tried to kill her, still attempted to rekindle their marriage and show his affection while he was in prison.
Emile would send her letters and call her constantly begging for another chance- which she initially responded to.
He also always wanted Victoria to visit him whilst behind bars, because she was all he had left.
Recounting her experience in the Daily Mail, Victoria said: "I went back to court for the sentencing.
"It was only when the judge read out all the details of Emile’s behaviour towards me — the lying, the stealing, his complete disregard — that I finally understood.
BEGGING TO SAVE THE MARRIAGE
"My husband was a monster.
"He was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years. I didn’t even glance at him as I left the courtroom.
"At first, Emile bombarded me with letters and phone calls. And at first, I wrote back.
"He sounded like the old Emile, the one who’d once written me letters full of affection and love. He was constantly wanting me to visit. ‘No one else will come,’ he told me. ‘You’re all I’ve got left.’
"Once, I would have felt sorry for him, but no more. After weeks of this pushing, I finally told him in a phone call: ‘I don’t want this. I don’t want this marriage.’ Emile fell silent. ‘Right,’ he then replied. ‘I have to go.’
"It had taken me a long time to see how coercive and manipulative he was, and to realise I was actually a victim of domestic abuse."
Emile was arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife in May 2015.
He was found guilty at his second trial in 2018 he was told he would serve a minimum 18 years in prison.
The fall, which he caused by tampering with her parachute, happened on Victoria's 2650th jump.
But even on the day, she had a gut instinct screaming at her not to jump from the aircraft.
As she plunged 3,000ft, she said how she knew something was wrong when she felt an "uneven jolt" as she pulled the parachute.
She looked up to see that the lines of her parachute were twisted, but luckily she was an experienced jumper so knew what to do to untwist them.
But this manoeuvre didn't work to slow her descent and she began to violently spin towards the ground.
With the ground getting closer and closer, she detached the main parachute and deployed the back up and prepared herself for the inevitable jolt, but it didn't happen.
Victoria's fall was broken by soil in a field that had recently been ploughed, and even though she survived, she broke her pelvis and ribs, fractured her spine in four places and suffered a collapsed lung.
This wasn't the first time that Emile, an Army troop commander, had tried to kill Victoria.
Soon after their son Ben was born, Victoria woke up one morning to smell gas.
It was revealed in court that he had tampered with the gas pipe in their kitchen.
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