Court rules on pay-outs to celebrity phone-hacking victims

Actress Sadie Frost is among those receiving part of £1.2 million in compensation from Mirror Group Newspapers

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The Independent Online

The High Court has ordered Mirror Group Newspapers to pay £1.2 million in compensation to celebrity victims of phone hacking.

The decision came on Thursday following a three-week hearing held earlier in the year in March to determine the extent of wrongdoing by the Mirror Group and the correct level of compensation.

Among those receiving a pay out is Paul Gascoigne. The former England footballer is to received £188,250 in damages. Back in March Gascoigne told the court that the consistent hacking of his phone had contributed to his alcoholism and nearly driven him to suicide.

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Gascoigne has said he contemplated suicide after his phone was continually hacked by journalists (Getty)

Sadie Frost, the actress and businesswoman, was awarded £260,250. Speaking outside court she said: "It has been a very difficult time and a time to reflect. I am relieved this is at an end and justice has been done."

The soap star Shane Richie received £155,000 while television executive Alan Yentob received £85,000.

The actresses Shobna Gulati and Lucy Taggart received £117,500 and £157,250 respectively.

Taggart, who was in court with Frost and Gulati, said: "Nothing can take away or repair the damage that was caused to me both personally and professionally and the impact it had on my friends, family and relationships at that time."

The TV producer Robert Ashworth, who was married to actress Tracy Shaw, received £201,250, while flight attendant Lauren Alcorn, who had a relationship with soccer star Rio Ferdinand, was awarded £72,500.

Mr Justice Mann said the victims had all suffered a "serious infringement of privacy".

But the compensation decision may not spell an end to court proceedings. An update published on behalf of Trinity Mirror Plc, the parent company of Mirror Group Newspapers, said that while it had accepted that it should pay "appropriate" compensation, "our initial view of the lengthy judgment is that the basis used for calculating damages is incorrect and we are therefore considering whether to seek permission to appeal".

(Additional reporting by PA)

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