What will happen next?
An appeal by former Royal Marine Alexander Blackman who was jailed for killing a Taliban insurgent in Afghanistan is taking place at the High Court today.
The court has heard that Blackman had been plagued with “mental scars” after facing death every day on the front lines of Afghanistan.
Jonathan Goldberg opened the new appeal against Blackman’s sentencing, he said: “Only those who have been on the front line can know what it is really like.”
He added that Blackman had almost been killed by a grenade and had lost a close friend, he added: “Mr Blackman’s nature is to be very reserved. He is a sort of John Wayne character.”
He also stated that three experts had agreed that Blackman was suffering from mental illness, an adjustment disorder. This would have impaired his ability to form a rational judgement or exercise self-control at the relevant time.
Richard Whittam QC, for the Crown, stated that is was important that the appeal was confined to the question of diminished responsibility.
He added that even if there was evidence to suggest that Blackman’s mental condition was the cause or played a significant contributing factor in the killing, the court would still have to take into account the video evidence.
Blackman was previously convicted in November 2013 and was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 10 years.
The minimum term was then reduced to eight years during an appeal in May 2014, it found that Blackman was suffering from combat stress disorder at the time of the 2011 shooting.