Police blogger to sue The Times over hacked emails
'Night Jack' detective takes action following editor's evidence to Leveson Inquiry
The blogging police detective whose identity was exposed after a journalist from The Times hacked into his email account is suing Times Newspapers for damages.
Richard Horton, a Lancashire detective constable and author of the blog Night Jack – an English Detective, is seeking aggravated and exemplary damages for breach of confidence, misuse of private information and deceit. He is being represented by Taylor Hampton, the legal firm which has represented many victims in phone-hacking claims against Rupert Murdoch's News International.
The legal action follows evidence heard at the Leveson inquiry into media standards, where The Times was compelled to submit details of its internal correspondence on the matter. Those emails, which acknowledged that the hacking could be in breach of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 for which there is no public interest defence, showed that The Times identified Horton by accessing his email account. But the newspaper told a High Court judge that it obtained the information by a legal "process of deduction and elimination". The court refused Horton an injunction that would have protected his identity.
In his evidence to Leveson, James Harding, the editor of The Times, denied that he had read the internal correspondence which described how Horton's name had been obtained. He said: "I can see now that we gave insufficient consideration to the fact of the unauthorised email access in deciding whether or not to publish."
After he was outed, Horton was made the subject of an internal investigation by Lancashire Police which issued a statement saying that the officer accepted that "parts of his public commentary have fallen short of the standards of professional behaviour we expect of our police officers".
Within the blogging community, Horton's treatment by The Times caused outrage. The quality of his writing had won him the Orwell Prize in 2009. Horton was not the only police blogger but he wrote with rare eloquence on the experience of policing broken estates.
When he won the prize his anonymity prevented him from collecting it in person. But Patrick Foster, then media correspondent of The Times, determined to unmask him and hacked into the Night Jack hotmail account that Horton had posted for followers of his blog. When the newspaper confronted the detective, Horton made his failed legal attempt to block publication. His exposure meant the end of Night Jack.
At his inquiry last month, Lord Justice Leveson described The Times' account as "misleading".
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
- 5 Naomi Wolf reacts to Isis 'conspiracy theories' critism after she questions whether beheading videos are real