UK & World News
Marine Loses Appeal Over Afghanistan Murder
A Royal Marine serving 10 years for murdering an injured fighter in Afghanistan has lost an appeal against his conviction.
Alexander Blackman was convicted in November 2013 and sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 10 years.
He was also "dismissed with disgrace" from the Royal Marines after serving with distinction for 15 years.
At a recent hearing his legal team claimed his conviction was "unsafe" and his sentence "manifestly excessive".
But despite losing the appeal against his conviction, Blackman, 39, had his sentence cut to eight years.
The killing, which was recorded on the helmet camera of another Marine, took place in Helmand province in 2011.
In the video, Blackman is seen walking into long grass looking for the injured fighter after an air attack by an Apache helicopter.
He found the man, told his colleagues that he would "put one in his head, if you want" before shooting him at close range in the chest with a 9mm pistol.
During the trial, Blackman's junior colleagues, who at the time were known only as Marines B and C, were both cleared.
They were later named as Corporal Christopher Watson and Marine Jack Hammond.
During Blackman's trial, Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett told him: "You intended to kill him and that shot certainly hastened his death.
"This was not an action taken in the heat of battle.
"You treated that Afghan man with contempt and murdered him in cold blood.
"This offence was unique and unprecedented in recent history.
"You were obliged to care for him, instead you executed him."
Blackman, who was serving with Plymouth-based 42 Commando, had denied murder, arguing the fighter was already dead and he was taking out his anger on a corpse.
He has said he felt ashamed at his behaviour, describing it as a "stupid lack of self-control and lapse in judgment".
During his appeal, Blackman's QC Anthony Berry argued his conviction was potentially unsafe as there was the possibility he was convicted by a simple majority.
"By virtue of the possibility that he was convicted by a simple majority of a seven-man board there remains doubt as to whether the prosecution in fact satisfied the criminal standard of proof."
But the appeal conviction was dismissed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, Sir Brian Leveson and Lady Justice Hallett at the Court Martial Appeal Court in London.