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Soldier 'gave no indication' he planned to harm himself

Lee Bonsall's family believe he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Credit: Family handout

A former soldier found hanged at his home in 2012 gave no indication he was intending to self-harm and was making future plans with his wife, an inquest has found.

Recording a narrative verdict, the coroner concluded that there was a clear link between Lee Bonsall's tour of duty in Afghanistan and subsequent mental health difficulties.

The inquest heard the 24-year-old asked to be discharged from the army in October 2006 but was not assessed until May 2007. He was subsequently discharged in September 2007.

Coroner Mark Layton said he proposed a narrative conclusion as he was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Bonsall's death can be recorded as a suicide.

Coroner calls for mental health review for soldiers

Lee Bonsall was found hanged at his home in 2012. Credit: ITV News Wales/Family handout

A coroner called for a review of mental health procedures for soldiers as he recorded a narrative verdict at the inquest of a former soldier who was found hanged at his home in 2012.

Lee Bonsall, 24, served in the Army for three years before being discharged in 2007.

His family believe he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder after a friend he was serving with in Afghanistan was shot dead.

Coroner Mark Layton said he intended to write to the Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans to suggest that the procedure for arranging psychiatric appointments is reviewed.

He also said he planned to ask that the Army "reviews its practice for passing medical records to civilian [doctor's] surgeries".


Marine's wife: He'd love to undo 'moment of madness'

Sergeant Alexander Blackman (right) was filmed on a fellow Royal Marine's headcam Credit: PA Wire

The wife of the marine convicted of murder has told the Daily Telegraph she is sure he could go back in time and undo that "moment of madness."

Sgt Alexander Blackman's wife said: “He’s held his hands up. What he has not done in my eyes is commit murder.

"He genuinely thought, and I have absolutely no reason to disbelieve him, that that insurgent was already dead.

“He should not have discharged his weapon into him – it was the madness of the moment – and he sure as hell wished he hadn’t either but he is not a murderer.”

Claire Blackman also revealed: “I am sure Al would love to meet Dr Who, travel back in time and undo that moment. “He can’t undo it and he’s ashamed of it but I still don’t think it should have led to where we are now.”

Marine A's wife: He's not a murderer

Sgt Blackman was jailed for life last week by a court martial Credit: Topfoto

The wife of a Royal Marine jailed for murdering a wounded Taliban fighter has said he is not a killer, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

Sergeant Alexander Blackman, known as Marine A, was jailed for life, with a minimum of 10 years, by a court martial last week. He was caught killing the man on his colleague's helmet camera.

“He’s been convicted of murder but everything that defines Al points me and everyone who knows him in completely the opposite direction – he is not made that way", Claire Blackman told the paper.

She added: “If you ask someone what murder is in this country they might say someone stabbing a little old lady in the high street.

“Death on active service in a war zone in somewhere like Afghanistan is, sadly, an everyday occurrence. I can’t really imagine the horror or the pressure those lads were under.”

Marine 'devastated' at life sentence for Afghan murder

A Royal Marine said he is "devastated" at being handed a life sentence for murdering an injured Afghan insurgent.

Sergeant Alexander Blackman said he was "very sorry" for his actions, which were filmed on the headcam of a comrade during the patrol in "the most dangerous square mile in Afghanistan".

Sergeant Alexander Blackman (right) was filmed on a fellow Royal Marine's headcam. Credit: MoD/PA Wire

Speaking after Blackman was led away to begin his sentence in a civilian prison, his solicitor Issy Hogg thanked the public for the support they have shown to him and his wife.

"He has been dismissed with disgrace from the Royal Marines, with whom he has served proudly for 15 years," said, adding that Blackman intends to appeal.


Judge: Marine's actions put British troops' lives at risk

A Royal Marine jailed for life for the murder of an Afghan insurgent was told by the judge sentencing him he had disgraced the name of the British armed forces and put troops' lives at risk by his actions.

Judge Jeff Blackett told Sergeant Alexander Blackman: "This was not an action taken in the heat of battle or immediately after you had been engaged in a firefight.

Sergeant Alexander Blackman was filmed by a camera on Marine B's helmet. Credit: MoD/PA Wire

"Nor were you under any immediate threat - the video footage shows that you were in complete control of yourself, standing around for several minutes and not apparently worried that you might be at risk of attack by other insurgents.

"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."

Marine jailed for life for executing Taliban insurgent

Sergeant Alexander Blackman has been named as Marine A referred to throughout the trial.

Sergeant Alexander Blackman, 39, an experienced Royal Marine filmed executing an injured Taliban insurgent in cold blood, was jailed for life for murder by a court martial in Bulford, Wiltshire, today and told he will spend at least 10 years in prison.

Leniency plea for Marine guilty of Afghan murder

A Royal Marine convicted of murdering an injured Afghan insurgent should be shown leniency due to the "exceptional circumstances" of the case, a court martial heard today.

Sergeant Alexander Blackman, 39, who has 15 years' experience in the Royal Marines, faces life imprisonment after executing the man in "cold blood" in Helmand Province in 2011.

Sergeant Alexander Blackman was filmed by a camera on Marine B's helmet. Credit: MoD/PA Wire

But a judge and court martial board have been urged to pass the shortest sentence possible to give Blackman "a real anticipation of release".

The military court in Bulford, Wiltshire, is not due to deliver the sentence until this afternoon.

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