Veteran’s joy as Marine A set to be freed

Royston Brett in Wigan supporting the Justice for Marine A campaign
Royston Brett in Wigan supporting the Justice for Marine A campaign

A former Paratrooper who took part in the national Justice for Marine A campaign has expressed his delight the soldier will be freed within weeks.

Royston Brett, from Golborne, was at the Royal Courts of Justice in London to hear Sgt Alexander Blackman’s sentence reduced to seven years.

Sgt Alexander Blackman Andrew Parsons/PA Wire

Sgt Alexander Blackman Andrew Parsons/PA Wire

Royston took part in a number of awareness-raising activities in the run-up to the appeal, including pedalling around the North West with flags calling for him to be freed and speaking to people about the case.

Sgt Blackman was re-sentenced for manslaughter after his original murder conviction over the death of a wounded Taliban insurgent in Afghanistan was downgraded.

As he has already served three and a half years his lawyer said on the steps of the court he could be home within a fortnight.

Royston said the cause had brought the different branches of the armed forces together and strongly criticised the original decision to put Sgt Blackman behind bars.

He shouldn’t have been in there in the first place for doing his job. That man is a hero in my eyes

Royston Brett

He said: “He shouldn’t have been in there in the first place for doing his job but I’m glad they have come to their sense and released him.

“He deserves to be out. That man is a hero in my eyes.

“There are all sorts of cap badges here in London and there is loads of cheering and clapping. It’s a joy.”