Marine E accused of murdering Taliban fighter reveals his identity

Support: Ever since Alexander Blackman was convicted tens of thousands  of servicemen and women as well as the public have fought to see his murder convicted overturned

Sergeant Alexander Blackman – known as Marine A – became the first British serviceman convicted of murder on a foreign battlefield since the Second World War.

Here is a timeline of events in the case:


March – Sgt Blackman deploys to Helmand province with 42 Commando as part of Op Herrick XIV. His unit is sent to Nad-e Ali, where it sees heavy fighting. Several marines are killed, including Sgt Blackman’s troop commander, and others are maimed.

September 15 – Taliban insurgents attack a small British patrol base. The attack is repelled with the aid of a British Apache helicopter gunship. Sgt Blackman and his marines are on patrol and sent to look for the fleeing attackers. They find one, lying gravely wounded, in the middle of a field. Sgt Blackman shoots him in the chest with his pistol. The killing is captured on helmet camera by one of the patrol.


September – The video of the incident is found on a Royal Marine’s laptop during an investigation by civilian police into another alleged crime. A police investigation begins.

October 11 – Seven unnamed Royal Marines are arrested on suspicion of murder.


October 23 – Sgt Blackman and two others go on trial at the Court Martial Centre in Bulford, Wiltshire, accused of murder. He is only identified as Marine A and his comrades as Marines B and C. They give evidence from behind screens. All three plead not guilty.

November 8 – Sgt Blackman is found guilty of murder. The two other marines are acquitted.

December 5 – A court rules Sgt Blackman, still only known to the world as Marine A, should be stripped of his anonymity.

December 6 – Sgt Blackman, from Taunton, Somerset, is given a life sentence and told he must serve a minimum of 10 years in a civilian prison.


May 22 – Sgt Blackman loses a Court of Appeal bid to overturn his life sentence. His minimum term is cut from 10 years to eight.


September – A high-profile campaign begins to have Sgt Blackman freed, led by his wife Claire.

December 16 – 1,100 pages of new evidence are handed into the Criminal Cases Review Commission in an attempt to have the conviction sent back to the Court of Appeal.


December – The CCRC concludes there is a ‘real possibility’ of overturning the conviction, and grants an appeal. Later the same month, the Lord Chief Justice refuses a bid to grant bail, after prosecutors challenge new psychiatric evidence about his mental state at the time of the killing.

December 21 – Sgt Blackman loses a bid to be released on bail in time for Christmas ahead of his appeal hearing.


February 7 – Five judges, Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, Sir Brian Leveson, Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Openshaw and Mr Justice Sweeney, begin hearing an appeal brought by Sgt Blackman to overturn his murder conviction at the Court Martial Appeal Court in London.

March 13 – The Court Martial Appeal Court announces the appeal ruling will be given on March 15.

March 15 – Sgt Blackman has his murder conviction replaced with manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility by the Court. A new sentence will be set at a later date.

March 28 – Sgt Blackman was given a 7-year sentence for manslaughter with diminished responsibility, but was given credit for time served, and was freed on 28 April 2017.