A Royal Marine who shot an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan will find out the result of an appeal against his murder conviction on Wednesday.
Five judges at the Court Martial Appeal Court in London are to announce their decision at 10.30am in a challenge brought by Sergeant Alexander Blackman.
They have heard argument that fresh psychiatric evidence would have provided Blackman, 42, from Taunton in Somerset, with a diminished responsibility defence.
The panel of judges, headed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, have been urged to overturn the “unsafe” murder conviction on the basis of “uncontradicted” evidence from three distinguished psychiatrists that Blackman was suffering from a mental illness – an adjustment disorder – at the time of the killing.
If Blackman wins and the conviction is reduced to manslaughter, the issue of what sentence should be imposed will be dealt with at a further hearing.
Blackman’s QC Jonathan Goldberg said at a hearing in February that the key “stressors” were his perception of poor leadership above him, isolation, a family history of depression, an earlier near-fatal grenade attack and the death of a colleague he had mentored.
His disorder substantially impaired his ability to form a rational judgment or exercise self-control and this would have affected his ability to know whether the insurgent was alive or not.
Richard Whittam QC, for the Crown, said there was no evidence to the contrary about Blackman having an adjustment disorder but the issue was “did it cause what happened”.
Read more – Forces.net