Royal Marine Sgt Alexander Blackman could be freed this Friday when England’s most senior judge hears an application for him to be allowed bail while he awaits an appeal hearing against his murder conviction.The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, will preside over the bail application – an “unprecedented” decision that reflects the gravity of the case, according to Blackman’s barrister Jonathan Goldberg QC.Lord Thomas will be urged to free the 42-year-old on bail on account of his “great integrity” and several prominent figures offering to pay a surety totalling £200,000.Blackman, known as Marine A, is serving a life sentence for murdering a wounded Afghan captive, but an independent review concluded he faces the “real possibility” of having his conviction quashed following the presentation of new evidence. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Lord Thomas will also reportedly be told that the former director special forces, Maj Gen John Holmes, MP Richard Drax, author Frederick Forsyth and a former marine, John Davies, have each offered to pay identical £50,000 bail sureties.Maj Gen Holmes told the newspaper: “I have supported Sgt Blackman’s cause since the outset.”I am more than happy to help stand his bail so he can be reunited with his family.”On Tuesday the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) referred Blackman’s conviction to the Courts Martial Appeal Court.The marine was found guilty of murder at a court martial at the Military Court Centre in Bulford, Wiltshire, in 2013.But the presentation of new evidence relating to Blackman’s mental health at the time of the death in Helmand in 2011, and the fact that an alternative verdict of unlawful act manslaughter was not available during the trial, means the case will return to the court.Judges will then consider whether to quash his conviction, commute the sentence to manslaughter or order a retrial at a court marital.The appeal hearing could be heard in summer or autumn 2017. She said: “I think my husband is cautiously optimistic. Things are moving forward in a way that this time last year we couldn’t have even hoped for.”His legal team will explain that he will not flee the country as he feels a “duty and a debt of gratitude” to his legions of supporters, according to the Daily Mail.Jonathan Goldberg QC will tell the court: “Tens of thousands of ordinary people have contributed donations to the Justice for Sgt Blackman campaign organised by the Daily Mail, which has paid the legal fees to prepare this fresh appeal.”Thousands of former Royal Marines have peacefully held rallies and demonstrated in Parliament Square and Birmingham.”He is a man of great integrity who acutely feels a duty and a debt of gratitude to them. He will follow due process meticulously.”In a letter to be shown to the bail hearing, Lt Col Simon Chapman said: “Fundamentally he is not a bad man. In fact, in almost every respect he is a normal citizen tainted only by the impact of war.” Show more Sgt Alexander Blackman hopes to be home in time to celebrate the 7th anniversary of his wedding to Claire If he is freed it would mean the 42-year-old would be able to celebrate Christmas and his seventh wedding anniversary – which falls on Dec 19 – with his wife Claire.Mrs Blackman told The Telegraph: “We are delighted that the CCRC decision has been made and that the bail application is moving swiftly but we are mindful that these are first important steps in a long process.”It would be lovely to have him home in time for our wedding anniversary. We haven’t spent many anniversaries together – he has been in prison for just over three years – but we have had our hopes dashed before so we have got good at managing expectations.”Mrs Blackman currently sees her husband once a week for a two-hour visit at HMP Erlestoke in Wiltshire, a 90-minute drive from their home in Somerset. She is also able to speak to him on the phone each night.