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Top lawyer helping Royal Marine jailed for Taliban killing

Former Sergeant Alexander Blackman.

One of Britain's top defence lawyers has joined a campaign to free a Royal Marine convicted and jailed for life for the murder of a Taliban gunman.

Sgt Alexander Blackman from Plymouth shot the Afghan fighter, who'd already been wounded by fire from an Apache helicopter.

Jonathan Goldberg QC hopes to take the case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, backed by MPs, Sgt Blackman's former commanding officer, and the thriller writer Frederick Forsyth.

"The point that cries out to us straightaway is that the manslaughter alternative which is inherent whenever a murder charge is brought, was never raised to any of the previous tribunals. And we think the facts called out for it."

– Jonathan Goldberg QC, defence barrister

Sgt Blackman's wife has said she will not give up the fight to bring her husband home.


Royal Marine trainee who died on Dartmoor was "incredibly fit"

Gareth Jenkins died last week while training on Dartmoor. Credit: Tony Mottram

The Royal Marine who collapsed and died during a 30-mile training march on Dartmoor has been pictured for the first time.

25-year-old Lieutenant Gareth Jenkins was completing the final commando challenge across Dartmoor last Thursday when he collapsed.

A Royal Navy Spokesperson described him as an "incredibly fit man" who was two-thirds of his way through officer training.

The cause of his death is still unknown, and the Ministry of Defence say it is being investigated.

Royal Marine who died during training exercise named

A Royal Marine who died while completing a 30 mile yomp has been named as Lieutenant Gareth Jenkins.

The 25 year-old from North Wales was completing the final Commando Test across Dartmoor when he collapsed. As a prospective officer he was expected to complete the walk in under seven hours.

A Royal Navy Spokesperson says he was an 'incredibly fit man' who was two thirds of his way through officer training. The cause of death is still unknown.

It is with sadness and regret that we can confirm the death of Lieutenant Gareth Jenkins, a Royal Marine officer under training at the Commando Training Centre, Lympstone. The thoughts and sympathies of the Naval Service are with his family and friends at this time. The incident is currently under investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment further while that process continues."

– Royal Navy Spokesperson

Royal Marine trainee dies on exercise in Dartmoor

The man died during a 30-mile march across Dartmoor Credit: PA Wire

A Royal Marine trainee has collapsed and died on an exercise in Dartmoor, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.

The man - who has not yet been named - was taking part in a 30-mile march across Dartmoor on Thursday when he died.

The cause of death is currently unknown, an MoD spokesperson said.

He was based at the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone, Devon.

The so-called "30-miler" march is one of the last major tests undertaken by trainees as part of the 32-week Commando course.

Recruits must navigate the route themselves and complete it within eight hours while carrying safety equipment.

An MoD spokesperson said the man's name and details were not being released at the request of his family.

This incident is being investigated and the thoughts and sympathies of the Naval Service are with the family and friends of this man.

– MoD Spokesperson


Afghanistan veterans honoured

Servicemen and women who died during the Afghanistan campaign and veterans have been remembered at a service of commemoration today.

The royal family, civil dignitaries and government leaders all attended the ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral, along with serving personnel, veterans and families.

Warrant Officer Matt Tomlinson is a Royal Marine from Torpoint in Cornwall. He was awarded the Military Cross for saving the lives of colleagues during a fierce firefight in Afghanistan .

The lead vehicle was blown up by an IED and Matt braved incoming rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire to help rescue the seriously injured driver.

Children put through their paces by the Royal Marines

A youngster gets some commando training at Bickleigh Barracks Credit: ITV News

Around 40 children have been put through their paces this week by Royal Marines from 42 Commando.

All of the youngsters are members of Her Majesty's School Heroes, a support group for children of service men and women.

The workshop, at Bickleigh Barracks in Plymouth, gave them the chance to do commando-style challenges.

I think it's really important for the children of the servicemen and women to sort of see what their mums and dads get up to on a day to day basis.

There's not that much opportunity really for them to see that and I think it is really interesting and rewarding for them to do that and I think HMS Heroes gives them that platform.

– Maj Andy Titerickx, 42 Commando
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