Today the Court Martial Appeal Court announced the quashing of Alexander Blackman’s murder conviction and its substitution with a conviction for manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) referred Mr Blackman’s murder conviction to the Court Martial Appeal Court in December 2016 following an in-depth 11-month investigation in the case.
The decision of the Court was handed down today following appeal hearings held on the 7th and 8th of February 2017.
A further hearing will now decide what sentence Mr Blackman must serve.
Mr Blackman’s case is one of more than 600 cases so far where the CCRC has done the job it was created to do – to investigate alleged miscarriages of justice and identify new evidence or argument capable of casting significant doubt on the safety of the conviction.
The Alexander Blackman / Marine A case has been unusual in respect of the extremely high level of media interest, but, in terms of reviewing and deciding whether we could send this case for appeal, we have treated it in the same way that we would any similar case. We look at each case on its own specific facts and make our decision about whether to send the case for appeal based on those facts.
As we do with all the cases we refer for appeal, we will study the Court’s judgment in detail to see what lessons it may hold for us.
Any media enquiries should be directed to Miles Trent at the CCRC on 0121 233 1473.
The CCRC issued a press release about the case and its decision to refer Mr Blackman’s murder conviction to the Court of Appeal on 6th December 2016. That press release can be found on the CCRC homepage at ccrc.gov.uk