Today, the wife of Sgt Blackman (‘Marine A’), Claire Blackman will present papers to the Criminal Cases Review Commission at Eastside Park, Birmingham. The CCRC will then review this new information, including evidence proving a sergeant major was barred from giving mitigating evidence which could have resulted in Sgt Blackman receiving a lesser sentence of manslaughter. Other evidence can be found in our coverage here
Sgt Blackman is serving a minimum of 8 years in prison for murder, for shooting an injured insurgent who was wounded after trying to storm a British outpost. At the time, Blackman was on a tour of Helmand that was described as “Hell” and saw his friends tortured and killed. In a shocking injustice, crucial evidence was withheld from his court martial preventing him from being charged with the lesser offence of Manslaughter.
Sergeant Alexander Blackman – believed to be the only British serviceman ever convicted of murder on the battlefield as per the Mail online– he was locked up as a ‘political scapegoat’ for failings by top brass, say supporters.
Blackman was a highly experienced Marine destined for promotion when, on September 15, 2011, he led a patrol to check on a Taliban gunman who had been mortally wounded while attacking a British outpost in Helmand Province. It was near the end of a horror-filled tour of Afghanistan in which seven fellow Marines had been killed and 40 more injured by the Taliban.
The insurgent was found dying in a field, and was shot by Blackman – who told the court he believed the man was already dead – in a ‘moment of madness’ blamed on the acute stresses of the tour.
In his first interview, given in prison, Blackman, 41, told ‘the Mail’:
‘I made a split-second mistake, but I had been sent to a brutal battlefield to fight a war for my country. At the end of my trial, the Establishment lined up to portray me as evil, because it suited them … to show the world how politically correct we are. I have been made a scapegoat for all that went wrong there.’
Now a campaign spearheaded by writer Frederick Forsyth is increasing a fresh legal appeal to free Blackman – known as ‘Marine A’ after a painstaking Mail investigation revealed that evidence that might have resulted in a lesser charge of manslaughter was ‘deliberately withheld’.
A high-flying colonel who was blocked from telling the truth to the court martial called it ‘a failure of moral courage by the chain of command’. The colonel was so disgusted that he resigned his commission.
Court martial panel members sent a message to Blackman – who is eligible for parole after eight years – apologising for the length of his sentence.
Recent demonstrations have shown a nation of solidarity, however we need to raise more awareness on this sickening injustice. Share and discuss, the powers at be must take note.
WATCH VIDEO HERE: