Marine A Alexander Blackman tells how he is now back hunting for work

Sergeant Alexander Blackman is still jobless more than two years after being freed from a three-year jail term for killing an unarmed Taliban fighter.

Known as Marine A, the decorated soldier became the first British serviceman convicted of murder on a foreign battlefield since the Second World War. 

Sgt Blackman, from Taunton, Somerset, was given a life sentence in 2013, and told he must serve a minimum of 10 years in a civilian prison. 

His charge was eventually reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and he was released in 2017 following a nationwide campaign by the Daily Mail which raised more than £100,000 for his legal cause.

Known as Marine A, the decorated soldier's plight became national news after he became the first British serviceman convicted of murder on a foreign battlefield since the Second World War

Known as Marine A, the decorated soldier's plight became national news after he became the first British serviceman convicted of murder on a foreign battlefield since the Second World War

Known as Marine A, the decorated soldier’s plight became national news after he became the first British serviceman convicted of murder on a foreign battlefield since the Second World War

But since his release, the ex-Royal Marine officer has found steady work difficult to obtain.

Discussing his career prospects following his military career and subsequent imprisonment on ITV on Wednesday, Sgt Blackman said he had for a while worked in veteran support. 

But the funding for the organisation ran out leaving him having to look for other work – something that was proving difficult because of his past experience.

‘I’m now having to look for new work – what exactly I’m still undecided at the moment,’ said Sgt Blackman, who appeared on Lorraine to discuss his book detailing his account of the killing.

‘With any job you apply for honesty is key. So whenever I send my CV, I’m clear about who I am. 

‘Because it would be hard to find someone who doesn’t google you these days when they see your name,’ he added.

Mr Blackman shot and killed a gravely injured insurgent with his pistol, which was captured on helmet camera by one of his patrol.  

He was convicted of murder in 2013, before the charge was reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.  

Mr Blackman shot and killed a gravely injured insurgent with his pistol, which was captured on helmet camera by one of his patrol

Mr Blackman shot and killed a gravely injured insurgent with his pistol, which was captured on helmet camera by one of his patrol

Mr Blackman shot and killed a gravely injured insurgent with his pistol, which was captured on helmet camera by one of his patrol

He was convicted of murder in 2013, before the charge was reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility

He was convicted of murder in 2013, before the charge was reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility

He was convicted of murder in 2013, before the charge was reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility

In the Helmand Province, Sgt Blackman and 15 commandos endured horrific conditions to run an outpost deep in hostile territory. 

They carried out two patrols a day, carrying 100lb of equipment in unbearable 50C (122F) heat.

They were under intense psychological pressure because every step could have triggered a landmine.

They slept every night fearing the Taliban could kill them in their sleep. The area has been described as ‘the most dangerous square mile on earth’.

Mr Blackman shot and killed a gravely injured insurgent with his pistol, which was captured on helmet camera by one of his patrol

Mr Blackman shot and killed a gravely injured insurgent with his pistol, which was captured on helmet camera by one of his patrol

Mr Blackman shot and killed a gravely injured insurgent with his pistol, which was captured on helmet camera by one of his patrol

Sgt Blackman’s was given a life sentence for murder, signalling the first time a soldier had been convicted of murder for shooting an enemy in battle.

He killed the armed insurgent, who had already been mortally wounded, in September 2011.

His previous sentence was life with a minimum of eight years – equal to a 16-year sentence.

The campaign for justice was led by Mrs Blackman of Somerset, and supported by MPs including ex-Army officer Richard Drax.

Who is Marine A and why was he locked up for more than three years?

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

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

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:

2011

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.

2012

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.

2013

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.

2014

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.

2015

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.

2016

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.

2017

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.

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