Cheers in court as Marine A sentence reduced

By ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner

Judges have today decided that the former marine Alexander Blackman should have his sentence reduced to seven years.

This means that the former Sergeant known as Marine A should be released within the next two weeks.

The appeal court had previously decided that the Marine A should have his conviction for murder quashed and replaced with manslaughter.

They accepted the grounds of diminished responsibility as he was suffering from a mental illness, known as adjustment disorder.

Today they replaced his previous life sentence with a minimum of eight years, saying although they accepted he was no longer guilty of murder he must still bear responsibility for killing an enemy insurgent.

Cheers from Marine A supporters outside court. Credit: PA

The former Sergeant listened via video link from Erlestoke prison in Wiltshire.

The court was once again packed with supporters, including many former marines, who cheered loudly after the judgement was delivered.

It was argued that during his tour of duty in Helmand during 2011 Sergeant Blackman and his men had been overstretched and under resourced.

He had lost close colleagues in Taliban attacks and was suffering from an undiagnosed adjustment disorder.