Coogan settles hacking claim

 

Steve Coogan and Paul Gascoigne headed a list of phone-hacking damages claims which settled today close to trial.

The actor and footballer are among the 54 now resolved cases out of 60 that were launched against News International subsidiary News Group Newspapers before October last year.

Five of the remainder cannot be heard at this stage for technical reasons - Elle Macpherson's former adviser, Mary Ellen Field, footballer Ryan Giggs, former royal butler Paul Burrell, police officer and Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames - and her husband David Cook - and public relations consultant Nicola Phillips.

But the sixth - that of singer Charlotte Church, with her parents, James and Maria - will begin at London's High Court on February 27.

The two-week trial before Mr Justice Vos will not just consider Church's claim that 33 articles in the now-defunct News of the World were the product of hacking into the family's voice mails - but also set out a compensation framework for future cases.

The judge was told that 56 new claims were in the pipeline - including those of singer James Blunt, soccer star Peter Crouch - and his wife Abigail Clancy, politician Nigel Farage, footballer Kieron Dyer and Eimear Cook - ex-wife of golfer Colin Montgomerie.

Gascoigne's settlement of £68,000 and Coogan's of £40,000 were revealed as ten agreed statements were read out to a packed courtroom.

The former England soccer star, who was not in court, had suffered "mental harm and distress" and fallen out with friends and family because he feared information was being given to journalists, said his lawyers.

Coogan, who was present, said later that it had been a "very stressful and time-consuming" experience for him and those close to him.

"This has never been about money. Like other people who have sued, I was determined to do my part to show the depths to which the Press can sink in pursuit of private information."

He added: "The victims included not only people like me, who are well- known and in the public eye, but also many ordinary members of the public, sometimes vulnerable people with the most tenuous connection to the news. I am full of admiration for their bravery and persistence."

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes, who accepted £45,000, was in court and said later that the practice of hacking was "criminal behaviour on an industrial scale."

He added: "We must now make sure that nothing like this can ever happen again.

"Anyone involved in criminal activity at the News of the World must be brought to justice, and all those who allowed a large company to behave in this way must be held to account.

"There must also be answers to the serious questions about how the police managed to fail so badly in their original investigation."

Other high-profile awards were £25,000 to politician George Galloway, "substantial" undisclosed damages to former Labour communications director Alastair Campbell, £75,000 to sports agent Sky Andrew and another "substantial" award to Phil Hughes, who was an agent for late footballer George Best.

There were also awards of £110,000 plus an undisclosed sum to to Sally King and her family, and substantial undisclosed awards to Gascoigne's friend James Gardner, football agent Michael McGuire, Sheila Henry - the mother of 7/7 victim Christian Small - dancer Laura Rooney and journalist Dennis Rice, together with his wife and sister, Amanda Hobbs and Louise Artimati.

In each case, Michael Silverleaf QC, for NGN, which is facing a bill for damages and costs running into millions, expressed its "sincere apologies" for the damage and distress caused.

It is understood that other cases which have settled from the ten originally due to be tried on February 13 - although no details were given in court - were those of singer Pete Doherty, jockey Kieren Fallon, racing trainer Samantha Wallin, and Tracey Temple, who had a relationship with Lord Prescott.

Today's developments follows on the heels of last month's settlement of 37 claims, headed by actor Jude Law's compensation of £130,000.

PA

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
film
Sport
football
News
news
News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
A photograph taken by David Redferm of Sonny Rollins
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Head of Business Development and Analytics - TV

competitive benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Outstanding analytic expertise is req...

Head of ad sales international - Broadcast

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Are you the king or Queen o...

Business Development Manager Content/Subscriptions

£50k + commission: Savvy Media Ltd: Great opportunity to work for a team that ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker