Sentenced to life: Royal Marine from Brighton who shot wounded Afghan in cold blood (From The Argus)
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Sentenced to life: Royal Marine from Brighton who shot wounded Afghan in cold blood
3:14pm Friday 6th December 2013 in News
A Royal Marine filmed executing an injured Taliban insurgent in cold blood has been given a ten year minimum jail sentence.
Sergeant Alexander Blackman, 39, whose name was made public for the first time yesterday, was convicted last month of murdering the Afghan national in Helmand Province in September 2011.
The killing happened five months into an arduous six-month tour of Helmand province in 2011, known as Operation Herrick 14.
Blackman, from Brighton, shot the wounded Afghan in the chest at close range with a 9mm pistol.
"There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil, you c***. It's nothing you wouldn't do to us," Blackman told him.
It is believed Blackman’s mother still lives in Brighton after the death of his father two years ago.
The Royal Marine also has other close family members in the Hastings area, The Argus understands.
Blackman was given a life sentence with the minimum term decided by the seven-man court martial board made up of senior non-commissioned officers and officers, and Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett.
During his evidence at the court martial, Blackman, who denied murder, admitted he fired his gun out of anger but insisted the insurgent was already dead.
Blackman explained to the court martial why he fired: "Stupid, lack of self-control, momentary lapse in my judgment.
"I thought about it over the last year as we get towards these proceedings but I cannot give any other reason than to say that it was poor judgment and lack of self-control. I thought he was dead."
He blamed "foolish bravado" for quoting Shakespeare at the dying man and said it was something "I am not proud of".
The judge told Blackman, who stood to attention to hear the sentence, that he had disgraced the name of the British armed services and had put troops' lives at risk by his actions.
He said: "You treated that Afghan man with contempt and murdered him in cold blood. By doing so you have betrayed your corps and all British service personnel who have served in Afghanistan, and you have tarnished their reputation."
Speaking through his solicitor Issy Hogg, Blackman said he was "devastated" by the sentence.
The statement read: "Sgt Blackman and his wife are devastated by the life sentence imposed upon him together with the order than he serve a minimum of 10 years before he is eligible for parole.
"Furthermore, he has been dismissed, with disgrace, from the Royal Marines, with whom he has served proudly for 15 years.
"He is very sorry for any damage caused to the Royal Marines.
"Finally, Sgt Blackman thanks the public for the support shown to him and his wife."
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