Former Sergeant Alexander Blackman was jailed for life with a minimum of 10 years in 2013 – reduced to eight years 12 months later – for killing an insurgent in Afghanistan in 2011 during a brutal tour of duty.
This week three psychiatrists told the Court Martial Appeal Court that he was suffering from a mental illness called adjustment disorder, brought on by combat stress.
But yesterday a panel of five judges said they would “take time” to consider their decision.
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Court anguish for Former Sergeant Alexander Blackman jailed over killing of Taliban
Blackman, 42, watched the court proceedings from prison via video link as Jonathan Goldberg QC argued his conviction was “inevitably not safe”.
The judges were told that Blackman was serving with Plymouth-based 42 Commando in Helmand province in “ghastly” conditions which were a “breeding ground” for mental health problems.
The court was shown shocking footage of the killing, filmed on a colleague’s helmet camera. Blackman, of Taunton, Somerset, shot the insurgent, who had been seriously injured in an attack by an Apache helicopter, in the chest at close range with a 9mm pistol.
Screenshot of footage recorded by a soldier’s helmet camera Remembering Afghanistan heroes Sun, March 15, 2015
The Queen and Britain's prime minister joined veterans in a service to commemorate the end of Britain's combat in Afghanistan.
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Prince Harry at the Afghanistan war commemorations
Sgt Blackman's wife Claire was in the packed court, along with Marine veterans
The psychiatrists said he was suffering from several stressors, including isolation in a remote outpost, the death of a colleague he had mentored and a near-fatal grenade attack.
The court heard the disorder substantially impaired his ability to form a rational judgment or exercise self-control.
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