Jury in skydive attempted murder trial complain to judge

The trial of an army sergeant accused of trying to kill his wife by tampering with her parachute collapsed today after the jury was discharged. 

Two jurors at the Emile Cilliers' trial at Winchester Crown Court were yesterday discharged after they were diagnosed with stress related illnesses and were taken for treatment by doctors.

Mr Justice Sweeney said they had become unwell with 'stress-related illnesses' and told the remaining ten their deliberations 'must remain within the proper bounds of discussion, and not amount to improper pressure or bullying'.

In response, the 10 remaining jurors, who began their deliberations on November 14, wrote him a group note defending themselves.

Emile Cilliers, 37, (pictured today) was accused of twice attempting to murder his wife Victoria, 42,

Victoria Cilliers leaves Winchester Crown Court where she had been giving evidence

Jurors considering the case of Emile Cilliers, 37, (pictured today) who is accused of twice attempting to murder his wife Victoria, 42, (pictured outside court), have complained to a judge about what he has said about them

It read: 'Following yesterday's further direction, the jury returned to the deliberation room to read and discuss the direction as discussed.

'The jury unanimously agreed no such bullying had taken place, we then proceeded to further deliberations in the time remaining.

Mr Justice Sweeney, one of Britain's most experienced crown court judges, warned yesterday about 'improper pressure or bullying' in the jury room

Mr Justice Sweeney, one of Britain's most experienced crown court judges, warned yesterday about 'improper pressure or bullying' in the jury room

'After our dismissal for the day, a number of jurors were contacted by friends and family who became aware of press reporting implicating bullying.

'Collectively we feel we have had no opportunity to defend ourselves and our integrity which has further implications on us personally and professionally.'

Mr Justice Sweeney responded by saying in a further direction that his comments had not 'suggested any bullying had been going on' but had been intended 'to flush it out if it had'.

He told them: 'The direction I gave you yesterday afternoon was against the background that I had discharged two of your original number as they were suffering stress-related illnesses and medical evidence showed they were not fit to

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