Alexander Blackman - Marine A - 'will not change' identity or appearance

Peter Walker
Alexander Blackman - also known as Marine A - is in a west country cottage with wife Claire - PA

Alexander Blackman - better known as Marine A - is not expected to change his identity or appearance to protect himself from harm, his lawyer has said.

The Royal Marine is considering a life outside the Armed Forces for the first time in almost two decades, after his release from prison in the early hours of yesterday having had his conviction for the murder of an injured Taliban fighter quashed.

Sgt Blackman, 42, has praised his "wife in a million" who "saved me" after the pair were reunited as he was released from HMP Erlestoke in the early hours of Friday.

Jonathan Goldberg QC said he believes Sgt Blackman will not change his identity Credit: Caroline Mardon/Caroline Mardon

Yesterday his lawyer Jonathan Goldberg QC, said Sgt Blackman was not planning to change in his identity and appearance, having already turned down such advice in prison over perceived threats from inmates.

He said: “Al has been advised by police to change his identity in view of the perceived threats but I don't believe he will. This is a Royal Marines Colour Sergeant for heaven's sake and it's not how these boys behave! And you could say this highlights the whole tragedy of this case and the loss of a brave soldier at a time when his country needs him most."

Mr Golberg said he feels vindicated after proving his colleagues wrong who had lined up to brand his legal campaign "completely hopeless", saying the victory is the "crown of my career".

Alexander Blackman Marine A timeline

Sgt Blackman and his wife NHS manager Claire, 45, who have spent less than four of their seven-year marriage together, have been reacquainting themselves in a west country cottage.

Sgt Blackman is understood to be considering several job offers from the private security, military and training sector.

Among his principle plans, friends say, is to complete a university degree he began in prison and which could take his life in a “completely different direction”.

But, for now, he is enjoying relaxing and watching television as he and his wife celebrate the end of their fight for justice.

Sgt Blackman is hidden in the back seat as he is driven from HMP Erlestoke Credit: Davis Hedges/SWNS

It was won earlier this year when a panel of Appeal Court judges recognised that the battlefield stress that Mr Blackman was under was cause enough to amend his conviction to one of manslaughter.

That reduced his sentence from life to seven years for the killing of the Afghan insurgent in 2011.

Now Mr Blackman faces life as a free civilian for the first time in 18 years: ­after more than three years as a prisoner and 15 as a serviceman with five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Marine A, Sgt Alexander Blackman, in pictures

Mr Blackman told the Daily Mail his release from prison was an "immense feeling" but he was aware that his freedom came with certain conditions which he said "I must – and I will – respect".

He added it was the "little things" he was enjoying, such as being able to choose when to eat and sleep, but said his new found freedom would take "some getting used to."

Claire also told the paper she had spent the day "grinning like a Cheshire cat" as she awaited her husband's arrival.

"Now it is daylight, it still feels like a dream. We have spent so long on this rollercoaster ride and have always steeled ourselves for the worst-case scenario."

Sgt Blackman has had to give up on his dream of rejoining the military, having been dismissed in disgrace, despite the pleas of senior officers.

However, as well as job offers, there are murmurs of a book deal and even talk of a Hollywood film with Tom Hardy as Sgt Blackman, Kate Winslet his wife and Al Pacino as Jonathan Goldberg QC, the lawyer who led his successful appeal.

“Once they are fully decompressed I will meet them and we will discuss the interesting meeting I just had in Hollywood at the invitation of a famous producer from which it is clear that a major movie could be in the offing if they wish it," added Mr Goldberg.

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