Many British Gazette readers will welcome the news that former Royal Marine Sergeant Alexander Blackman has had his sentence reduced from the indeterminate one of life imprisonment to a determinate one of 7 years.
This means that Mr Blackman is scheduled to be released in about a fortnight’s time, having served half the sentence imposed.
It is possible that Mr Blackman may think of the words of Dr Johnson about being hanged in a fortnight and the concentration of the mind. The fact is that Mr Blackman will face several challenges upon his release.
Firstly, there will be the publicity. Not everyone will rejoice at his release.
Secondly, one of the consequences of his conviction is that the newspapers who will seek his story will make it plain to him that they cannot pay him any money as a criminal cannot benefit from his actions. Furthermore they may impose constraints insofar as paying Mrs Blackman is concerned.
Thirdly, Mr Blackman will be aware that he will not be able to re-enlist in the Royal Marines. Therefore he will have to seek a new career. This may not be as easy as it may first seem. The sort of employment a man with his work experience could expect would be that of security guard supervisor. Unfortunately his criminal record will present a bar to this. Furthermore, having received a sentence of 7 years, his conviction will never become spent the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Then there will be the costs of the insurance Mr & Mrs Blackman have.
Mr & Mrs Blackman will find that they have to approach the offenders charity “Unlock” for a list of insurance brokers specialising in companies that will insure the property of those with criminal convictions other than motoring offences. Mr & Mrs Blackman will find that the insurance premiums will double or treble for the same amount of cover. It is not that Mr Blackman has suddenly become a bad risk. Just that with a restricted market, providers can increase the profit margins on the premiums they charge.
Here is a FACT: Those convicted of criminal convictions are discriminated against by the British insurance industry. Such discrimination if practised against persons with same sex orientated persons, disabled persons or persons of a religious or ethnic minority would be unlawful.
Mr Blackman and his fellow offenders can expect no change by government action as the politicians walk in fear of the editors of the tabloid newspapers who would be excoriating of any proposals to enforce a non discrimination policy upon the insurance industry vis-à-vis offenders. This is because the politicians are unlike Mr Blackman, cowards.
Mr Blackman might be offered work as a “bouncer” by nightclubs. We would advise him not to take up such offers. There are just to many yobs who would want to “have a go”.
Herewith the BBC’s report: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39417239
Herewith the Guardian’s report: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/28/marine-a-alexander-blackman-court-martial-appeal-insurgent