He was a 'mess of a child' who was tormented for being gay, kicked out of home at 18 by his father and once threatened to stab his step mother with a knife.

His own mother drank too much, he could not hold down a job and once literally crawled up a wall because he felt his family were ignoring him.

Perhaps it was no surprise then, that Bradley Manning was angry at the world - angry enough to hit back at any figure of authority that was within his grasp.

He has now been convicted of leaking classified information but given the troubled life he led Manning was always a time bomb waiting to go off.

His family left him scarred, his school days left him feeling like a loner - meaning that when he enlisted he was deeply disillusioned with life already.


He was born in 1987 to a father, Brian Manning, who was in the military and often absent
In hindsight it is deeply troubling he was allowed into the military at all.

Born in 1987, Manning was brought up in Crescent, a small town in the Bible Belt of Oklahoma that he later joked had 'more pews than people'.

His father Brian was in the military and would spend long periods away.

His mother Susan found it hard to make the transition from her native Wales, where she met Brian whilst he was stationed there.

She drank too much, neighbours have said.

Even at a young age Manning had a festering lack of respect for authority and refused to recite part of the Pledge of Allegiance to God.

Chera Moore, who attended elementary and junior high school with him, has said: 'He would get upset, slam books on the desk if people wouldn't listen to him or understand his point of view.


Manning as a baby with his older sister, Casey.
'He would get really mad, and the teacher would say, 'O.K., Bradley, get out.' '

Those words would become a refrain for Bradley Edward Manning for the rest of his life.

According to his older sister Casey, their mother's drinking got worse and she would take vodka with her tea and rum with her coke all day until she went to bed.

The children learned to look after themselves. By the age of six Manning was dressing himself and making his own cereal.

By seven or eight, he began to take an interest in computers and read a book on the C++ computer language given to him by his father.

He built his first website at 10 and come the age of 13 he was messing around with the code on video games to change how characters looked - the first steps on a lifelong interest in hacking.

He had few friends and preferred to spend his time with his computer.

Meanwhile family life was confusing.

Manning was scared of his father who was reportedly 'far too strict' whenever he was home. His mother was 'far too soft' to make up for it.

In 2000 his already turbulent life took a turn for the worse when his parents divorced.


Manning moved from the home, pictured, with his mother to the UK
Family friend Mary Egelston has said that as far as Manning and his sister were concerned, it 'rocked their world'.

Casey was in college and stayed in the US but Manning moved to the UK with his mother and settled in Haverfordwest in south-west Wales.

Manning spent four years there and, according to reports, was taunted by his classmates because he was gay and because he was American.

Rowan John, a former classmate who was openly gay in school, has said: 'It was probably the worst experience anybody could go through. Being different like me, or Bradley, in the middle of nowhere is like going back in time to the Dark Ages.'

Upon returning home from a trip to see his father in 2001, Manning told his mother that he felt replaced by his step brother, Dustin.

According to the Washington Post he began 'literally climbing the wall in frustration - taking two or three steps, running up the wall, then hopping off, over and over'.


As he grew up, Manning developed an interest in computers and read technology books
His mother called Egelston to help and Manning shouted out that 'nobody understands' and that 'I'm nobody now, Mom'.

When Manning returned the US things were no better, and by 2006, when he was 18, home life reached a crisis point.

According to a 911 call obtained by PBS' Frontline, Manning's stepmother claimed that he tried to stab her with a knife when he and his father got into a row about obeying the house rules.

Asked what he was upset about, his stepmother told the dispatcher: 'Because I have been telling him he needs to get a job and he won't get a job. He said he thinks he should be able to just take money from us.'

Manning was escorted out by police but was not arrested.

The next day he left home and never came back.

Some of his friends have said that his father kicked him out when they found out he was gay, although Brian disputes this.

Manning's stepmother had been right about one thing, though - he could not hold down a job.

A position with Zoto Inc, a startup, fell through when he began staring into space and seemed out of it to the point where his colleagues thought he was on drugs.

Zoto's boss Kord Campbell, to whom Manning opened up about his personal life, concluded that 'nobody's been taking care of this kid for a really long time'.

Manning tried a series of minimum wage jobs before enlisting in the Army in 2007 in an apparent attempt to find some stability in his life.

If that was his intention then he failed.


School years: He was teased for his accent and for being gay throughout schooling in Wales
From his basic training onwards the same problems came back to haunt him that were there in school - he could not make friends and felt all alone.

During his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri he was picked on for being the shortest in the group at 5ft 2in.

Manning 'just took it' rather than fight back, a former friend has said.

Nevertheless, Manning was granted a security clearance and trained as an intelligence analyst at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

He was then assigned to the Second Brigade 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York, but found it hard to adapt, not least because of the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy on gay people which meant he could not discuss his private life.

He reacted in the way he always had - by getting angry and lashing out.

His master sergeant thought he showed signs of 'instability', he rowed with a homophobic roommate, was referred to a mental-health counsellor and posted anonymous comments on blogs about his 'double life'.

At the same time, for what was probably the first time in his life, Manning had a taste of what could have been - a life where he was accepted for who he is.

He met Tyler Watkins, a freshman at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, west of Boston, who called himself a singer and a drag queen on his blog.

Manning fell deeply in love and Watkins wrote on his Facebook page: 'totally in love with Bradley Edward Manning!!!!!!!'

Manning made weekend visits to see Watkins and met the lesbian, gay and transgender community he was part of. He also got involved with the university's hacker community.

Come 2009, however, Manning was deployed to Iraq.

He had already been noticed by those around him for his keenly developed political views, and even in Iraq he posted Facebook that he was 'beyond frustrated with people and society at large'.

Another update read: 'Bradley Manning is not a piece of equipment.'

Three months after being stationed in Baghdad, Manning came home for leave for two weeks and told Watkins that he had 'gotten his hands on' some sensitive information and was considering passing it on to Wikileaks.

The next year Wikileaks published the now infamous 2007 video called 'Collateral Murder' showing video from a US Army helicopter hovering over Baghdad.

The footage shows gunmen apparently on the aircraft shooting at suspected insurgents - but among the crowd of 12 were a Reuters driver and photographer.


Manning is escorted outside of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Maryland on Monday after deliberations in his court martial for aiding the enemy, espionage, computer fraud and theft
It was given to them by Manning and it made Wikileaks what it is today.

During the eight-week trial, Manning's defence team have argued that he was appalled by what he saw in the Iraq War and that he was acting out of conscience.

However looking at his life it is apparent that there were a whole host of factors that were at play.

Manning was no doubt an angry young man - he is still only 25 today - and spent his life doing things his own way because he had no other choice.

So it is hard to believe that he was entirely acting out of the wider good when he gave 700,000 documents to Wikileaks, the largest national security breach since the Pentagon Papers.

How much of his motive was cold-blooded revenge for a lifetime of rejection, only Bradley Manning will know.