A PANEL of potential jurors has been selected for the trial of an Army sergeant accused of attempting to murder his wife by tampering with her parachute.

Emile Cilliers, of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, faces two charges of attempted murder and a third count of damaging a gas fitting, which the 38-year-old denies.

The serving soldier with the Royal Army Physical Training Corps is accused of sabotaging his wife's main and reserve parachute, and a few days earlier tampering with a gas valve at the family home in Amesbury.

Victoria Cilliers, a highly-experienced parachuting instructor, suffered near-fatal injuries when her main and reserve parachutes failed during a jump at the Army Parachute Association at Netheravon, on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015.

The panel of potential jurors at Winchester Crown Court was sent home and told the selected members would be sworn in on Thursday when Michael Bowes QC is expected to open the case for the prosecution.

The judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, told the jurors the trial was estimated to last five weeks and added: "As I am sure you will understand, a fair trial is the right of all who are brought before the courts in this country.

"To state the obvious, the role of the jury is a vitally important one in ensuring the fulfilment of that right because in our crown courts it is the jury who are the judges of the fact who alone decide what the true verdicts are in the case they are trying."