Sergeant Alexander Blackman: Royal Marine jailed for life for murder of Afghan insurgent challenges verdict

39-year-old lodges applications for permission to appeal against both conviction and sentence

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The Independent Online

The former Royal Marine who was jailed for life for shooting an injured Afghan insurgent has asked for permission to appeal his conviction.

Sergeant Alexander Blackman, identified in court only as "Marine A" before a judge ruled his identity be made public, was found guilty of murder over the incident and handed a minimum 10 year term.

He has now applied to appeal against both his conviction and sentence, the Judicial Office confirmed today.

Blackman, 39, was convicted by a court martial board on 8 November, and subsequently dismissed from the Marines when he was sentenced in December.

Two other Marines were acquitted over the killing, which occurred after an insurgent in Helmand was seriously injured by an Apache helicopter more than two years ago.

The murder only came to light when footage was found on one of the servicemen's headcams. It showed the insurgent convulsing on the floor and struggling for breath, at which point Blackman shoots him in the chest and says "There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil you c***. It's nothing you wouldn't do to us.

He then turned to his comrades and said: "Obviously this doesn't go anywhere fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention."

Blackman, who denied murder, had 15 years' experience in the Royal Marines, having joined in 1998, and was in charge of Command Post Omar in Helmand during Operation Herrick 14 in 2011.

He had completed tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland during his military career, and was being considered for promotion to Colour Sergeant before the footage of the killing emerged.

He said he believed the man was already dead and he was taking out his anger on a corpse, and that he felt ashamed at his actions, describing them as "a stupid lack of self-control and lapse in judgment".

After his sentencing on December 6, Blackman said he was "very sorry" for his actions and "devastated" at being handed a life sentence.

Sentencing Blackman, Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett said the commando had betrayed the armed services.

Additional reporting by PA