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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.

The shooting of the injured Afghan insurgent was filmed by a camera on Marine B's helmet.
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.

Read: Marine to be sentenced for Afghan murder

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Sentencing due today

The Plymouth-based marine, Sergeant Alexander Blackman, will be sentenced today at a Military Court in Wiltshire for the murder of an unknown Afghan civilian.

Sgt Blackman was accused along with four other marines of murdering a captured Afghan while on patrol in September, 2011.

Sgt Alexander Blackman will be sentenced at the Military Court Centre at Bulford in Wiltshire
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MoD acknowledges lifting of Marine anonymity order

A Ministry of Defence spokesman has said:

The MoD acknowledges the lifting of the anonymity order in respect of Marine A.

We presented our security concerns in open court, and an independent legal process has now concluded; we respect the decision of the court.

Read: Marine guilty of Afghan insurgent's murder is named

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Identities of Marines B and C yet to be released

Two Royal Marines who were acquitted by a court martial over the death of an Afghan insurgent should be named, judges have ruled.

The shooting was filmed by a camera on Marine B's helmet.
The shooting was filmed by a camera on Marine B's helmet.

However, their identities will not be released pending a possible move by their lawyers to take the issue on to the Supreme Court, the UK's highest court.

Read: Marine guilty of Afghan insurgent's murder is named

National

Marine convicted of Afghan insurgent's murder named

A judge has ruled that the anonymity of the Royal Marine convicted of murdering a seriously injured Afghan insurgent can be lifted.

Sergeant Alexander Blackman has been named as Marine A.
Sergeant Alexander Blackman has been named as Marine A. Credit: Topfoto

The commando, known as Marine A during the court martial, has been named as Sergeant Alexander Wayne Blackman.

Two other servicemen who were acquitted, known as Marines B and C, can also be named, the judges ruled.

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Naming of Marines D and E 'subject to another hearing'

The question of whether two Royal Marines, against whom charges were discontinued, should be named will be the subject of a further hearing, judges have said.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, sitting with Mr Justice Tugendhat and Mr Justice Holroyde in London, said Marine A, who was convicted of murdering an Afghan insurgent, should be publicly named along with two servicemen who were acquitted by a court martial.

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