The boss of the parachute club where an Army sergeant is accused of tampering with his wife's chute has told a court that knots in her lines were most likely caused by missing parts.

Emile Cilliers, of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, is on trial at Winchester Crown Court for two charges of attempting to murder his former Army officer wife Victoria Cilliers on Easter Sunday, April 5 2015.

The 37-year-old is also accused of a third charge of damaging a gas valve at their home a few days earlier, in the second allegation that he attempted to kill his 40-year-old wife.

He denies all three charges.

Mark Bayada, the Army Parachute Association's (APA) chief instructor at Netheravon airfield, said that he did not know how knots occurred in Mrs Cilliers' reserve parachute lines.

He said these knots could have happened as a result of the slinks being removed.

The prosecution alleges that the defendant tampered with his wife's reserve by removing the slinks, which are a soft link to connect the lines with the harness.

When asked about how the knots, found high up the lines closer to the canopy, might have occurred, Mr Bayada said: "I absolutely do not know and it's the first thing I found to be very unusual about the whole thing.

"To have the knots created deliberately above the sliders when the parachute is packed, that would need you to open the reserve container, undo the lines, pull them through the slider and restart it.

"You wouldn't need to unfold the material but you would need to deploy all the lines; quite a lengthy process."

The court has heard that Cilliers is accused of taking his wife's packed parachute into the hangar's toilets where he is alleged to have tampered with it.

When asked if he felt the sabotage could have taken place within a toilet cubicle with the parachute hung on the coat hook on the rear of the door, Mr Bayada replied: "I do not think so."

He added: "One, the hook is very weak, it's a soft metal hook, I'm not sure if it would take the weight of the equipment, the other one is the weight of the kit itself, it's very difficult to work on a set of kit."

Mr Bayada said that the kit store at Netheravon, where the parachute that Mrs Cillers' hired for her jump was kept, was never left "unlocked and unmanned".

Alan Westley, who has been the chief rigger for the APA since September 2013, told the court that reserve parachutes are required to be checked and re-packed every six months and he kept a spreadsheet to organise when each parachute was due to be checked.

Describing the process, he said: "I take it up to my rigging room, which is a sterile environment, and then I go through a complete check of the whole equipment, every single component gets checked prior to the reserve being repacked."

The jury was shown a video of Mr Westley checking and repacking a reserve parachute.

mfl Mr Westley, who joined the Army Air Corps in 1998, said that of the 500 reserve parachutes he had checked before May 2015 which had slinks, he had never found one with a missing slink or with a slink undone or not properly done up.

Describing Mrs Cilliers, with whom he has jumped 100 times, Mr Westley said: "She was a very competent, capable jumper, she was an accelerated free-fall instructor."

He said that her own parachute, which was sent away for inspection at the time of her near-fatal jump, was smaller and "more high performance and sporty" than the one she hired.

Mr Westley said that on Saturday April 4 2015, the day before the jump, he authorised the kit store at Netheravon to issue a 149 parachute to Mrs Cilliers because he knew she was experienced to use it.

Describing the defendant's jumping ability, he said that he had "fairly low experience" and was an "infrequent jumper".

He said that Cilliers was qualified to pack main parachutes but not reserve parachutes, and carried out paid work packing parachutes at Netheravon.

Mr Westley said that Cilliers had completed a four-day reserve packing course and he had previously supervised the defendant packing his wife's own personal reserve parachute.

The court heard that the Safire 149 parachute used by Mrs Cilliers was last used on March 25 2015, with a previous use in that March and another 38 flights in 2014.

The reserve, which was bought as a new rig in July 2007, was last inspected by Mr Westley on February 4 2015.

He confirmed that he checked all four risers of the reserve parachute for slinks on that inspection and said that all of the slinks were in a "fully serviceable" condition.

The court heard that of the approximately 25,000 jumps a year at Netheravon in 2013, there were 33 deployments of reserve parachutes, of which 19 were APA kit.

In 2014, 35 reserves were deployed, of which 16 were club kit, in 2015 there were 26 reserve deployments, of which eight were club kit, and in 2016 there were 26 deployments with seven by club kit.

The trial was adjourned until Thursday.