Mirror publisher’s challenge to £1.2m phone-hacking damages rejected
March 24, 2016
Shah Sheikh (1294 articles)

Mirror publisher’s challenge to £1.2m phone-hacking damages rejected

The supreme court has rejected a challenge by the publisher of the Daily and Sunday Mirror against the landmark £1.2m in damages awarded to eight phone-hacking victims, including actor Sadie Frost and ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne.

Mirror Group Newspapers took its case to the supreme court after an earlier bid was rejected in the court of appeal last December.

The supreme court said on Wednesday it had refused the publisher’s application to appeal.

“The court ordered that permission to appeal be refused because the application does not raise an arguable point of law,” it said.

The damages were awarded by the judge, Mr Justice Mann, in May last year to a total of eight victims, the largest award of damages made by the courts for a breach of a person’s privacy.

They also included former BBC executive Alan Yentob, Coronation Street actor Shobna Gulati, flight attendant Lauren Alcorn, TV producer Robert Ashworth and EastEnders actors Lucy Taggart and Shane Richie.

Frost was awarded £260,250 and Gascoigne £188,250 in compensation from Trinity Mirror.

Ashworth, a former Coronation Street producer who told the court that phone hacking had ruined his media career and his marriage to soap actor Tracy Shaw, was awarded £201,250 for the invasion of his privacy.

Taggart received a £157,250 payout, while Richie got £155,000, Gulati got £117,500, Yentob was awarded £85,000 and Alcorn £78,500.

All of the awards were higher than those handed out in a previous privacy case.

Trinity Mirror issued a statement saying it did not believe the ruling affected its previous estimate that it would need to put aside £41m to cover phone-hacking claims.

The statement said: “We have been informed this morning by the supreme court that they have refused our application for permission to appeal against the judgment of the court of appeal.

“We have throughout the legal process been resolving claims and will continue to make efforts to resolve all legitimate claims. There remains ongoing uncertainty in relation to how matters will progress. At this stage we believe there is no change to the provisions previously made in relation to resolving civil claims arising from phone hacking.”

The judge in his original ruling said phone hacking was “part of a large-scale pattern of the unlawful obtaining of information” by journalists at the newspaper group.

He said “people whose voicemails were hacked for so often and so long, had very significant parts of their private lives exposed, and then reported on, are entitled to significant compensation”.

Source | TheGuardian