UKIP Veterans Spokesman Mike Hookem, has welcomed a decision by the Court Martial Appeal Court to reduce the sentence of jailed Royal Marine Sergeant, Alexander Blackman, saying; “the reduction in the severity of the charge against Al Blackman proves he should never have been jailed in the first place due to medical problems he was suffering from at the time of the incident.”
Royal Marine Sergeant, Alex Blackman, was jailed after the killing of a mortally wounded Taliban fighter in Afghanistan was caught on the helmet camera of another soldier. A military court later found Blackman guilty of murder, despite evidence he was suffering from a range of mental health problems at the time of the killing.
Former commando engineer, Mr Hookem, who has taken the campaign to free ‘Marine A' to the European Parliament said, “I echo the statement made by Claire Blackman – Alexander’s wife – that a conviction of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility better reflects the circumstances of the incident and I welcome the court’s decision.”
“I would now like to see the immediate release of Mr Blackman and his sentence reduced to time served. Mr Blackman needs to be at home with his wife and family, where he belongs, rather than languishing in jail.
“For me, Mr Blackman should never have been jailed in the first place. Moving forward, I would like to see significant changes to the way court martials are conducted to ensure that psychological issues are considered in the first instance."