Sun pays substantial damages to family of ‘Lotto Gran’ over revenge porn photos

The estate of “Lotto Gran” Susanne Hinte is to receive substantial damages over a topless photo of her which appeared in the Sun.

Her daughter, Natasha Douglas, continued the privacy proceedings against News Group Newspapers on her mother’s behalf, after 49-year-old Hinte died in August last year.

At London’s High Court on Thursday, counsel Greg Callus told Judge Richard Parkes that Hinte, from Worcester, came to public attention in January 2016 when she sent a damaged lottery ticket to Camelot to see if she had won £33m.

It transpired that she was not in fact the winner and she acquired the nickname “Lotto Gran” in the tabloid press.

In April 2016, the Sun published an article about Hinte on its website and in the newspaper which contained an image of her taking a topless selfie in a mirror.

In the printed article, Hinte’s nipples were masked by lottery balls but in the online version they were not covered in the image, which had been modified.

The writer also discussed the picture and other sexually explicit images of Hinte.

The photographs had been provided to the newspaper by Hinte’s former friend, Julie Howard, for £750, said Callus.

In January 2017, Howard was found guilty of disclosing private sexual photographs with intent to cause distress and given a six-week suspended sentence.

Callus told the judge that NGN had agreed to pay substantial damages to Hinte’s estate and its legal costs.

It also agreed to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, the deletion of the images in its possession, and not to re-publish.

“In light of the settlement that has been agreed with the defendant, the claimant is prepared not to take this claim any further,” Callus said.

However the Sun has admitted no liability in the case.

Nick McAleenan, of law firm JMW Solicitors, said later that the hearing was the first time that a statement had been read in open court in a privacy case for a deceased person.

He said: “This is an important case which raises serious issues regarding the legal rights of victims of revenge porn and is also significant in that it concerns the privacy rights of a deceased individual.”

Douglas, 30, said: “I felt very strongly that it was important to continue this claim against the Sun on behalf of my late mother – not only because it’s what she would have wanted, but also to hold them accountable and make other people aware that it’s totally unacceptable to intrude into someone’s life as they did in this case.”

Picture: REUTERS/Toby Melville 

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