The Royal Marine convicted of murder for killing a wounded Taliban fighter has had his sentence reduced to manslaughter at the Royal Courts of Justice. Alexander Blackman, also known as Marine A, committed the offence in Helmand Province in 2011.
The 42-year-old from Taunton, Somerset, had previously been handed a life sentence with a minimum of 10 years, later reduced to eight. He will be given a new sentence at a future hearing.
Blackman's wife Clare said she was "delighted" with the verdict, adding: "We must now hope to secure a significant reduction in the sentence."
A panel of five judges led by Lord Chief Justice John Thomas heard the appeal during a two-day hearing in February.
Jonathan Goldberg QC argued that Blackman's conviction should be quashed on grounds of diminished responsibility as he was suffering from mental illness when he pulled the trigger.
He said Blackman was in the throes of a combat stress disorder brought about by a history of depression, feelings of isolation while in Afghanistan and an earlier grenade attack that nearly killed him.
Subsequently, Blackman was not able to act rationally and with normal levels of self-control when he killed the enemy fighter, who lay wounded on the floor. Three psychiatrists were offered to the court giving fresh evidence to support this claim.
Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC did not challenge the claim that Blackman may have been suffering from an "adjustment disorder," but asked "did it cause what happened?".
Blackman shot a wounded Taliban fighter in the chest with a 9mm pistol at close range. Video footage of the incident shows Blackman taunting his victim as he kills him. He says: ''There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil, you c***. It's nothing you wouldn't do to us.''
After discharging his weapon, he adds: ''Obviously this doesn't go anywhere, fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention.''
Blackman, who was not in court to hear the verdict, was originally convicted of murder at a court martial in November 2013 and sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 10 years.
At a court martial appeal in May 2014 judges rejected a challenge to his conviction, but reduced his minimum sentence to eight years.
Blackman was previously tried under the name Marine A and his case has precipitated a groundswell of public support