Royal Marine at a loss to explain why he took life of Taliban fighter
Alexander Blackman has spoken about the fatal shooting of an injured Taliban insurgent in 2011 that saw him jailed for life.
A Royal Marine who shot dead a wounded Taliban fighter in Afghanistan said he has spent a long time thinking about the killing but cannot explain why he took the course of action he did.
Sergeant Alexander Blackman was freed from prison just under two weeks ago, having spent more than three years in jail.
Then known as Marine A, in 2013 he was convicted of murder at Bulford Court Martial over the fatal shooting of an injured Taliban insurgent in 2011 and jailed for life.
Blackman, who was interviewed alongside his wife Claire who campaigned for his release, told the BBC: “It’s such a unique circumstance in a unique area of the world.
“Like I say the likelihood of me ever finding myself in that position again is so remote it’s almost comical. So it’s really, I can’t really answer how I’d act because I don’t think that’s ever likely going to happen again.”
Asked why he did it he said: “I really couldn’t tell you. Like I say I have spent a lot of time thinking about it and I haven’t got a definitive answer.”
He referred to a previous description of the killing as “a moment of madness”.
The murder verdict was quashed by the Court Martial Appeal Court and replaced with diminished responsibility manslaughter in March.
Five judges ruled Blackman was suffering from an “abnormality of mental functioning” at the time of the incident, when he was serving with Plymouth-based 42 Commando.
His sentence was reduced to seven years, meaning he was eligible for release on licence after serving half the term.
Mrs Blackman told the BBC: “I feel personally fairly certain that if he had a time machine and could go back and do things differently he absolutely would.”
The pair said they were delighted to be reunited after he was released from HMP Erlestoke in Wiltshire at the end of April.
Previously Blackman’s lawyer Jonathan Goldberg QC said the story has attracted attention in Hollywood, naming Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet as potentials to play the couple on the big screen.