Trinity Mirror refused permission to appeal against record £1.2m hacking privacy payouts - Press Gazette

Trinity Mirror refused permission to appeal against record £1.2m hacking privacy payouts

Mirror Group Newspapers has been refused permission to appeal against a High Court ruling which saw it ordered to pay record damages to eight phone-hacking victims.

Despite today's decision by Mr Justice Mann, who awarded a total of around £1.2m against Mirror Group Newspapers last month, the group can renew its application to the Court of Appeal.

Actress and businesswoman Sadie Frost received the largest sum of £260,250 with ex-England footballer Paul Gascoigne getting £188,250.

The other payments were £85,000 to TV executive Alan Yentob, £117,500 and £157,250 respectively to actresses Shobna Gulati and Lucy Taggart, and £155,000 to soap star Shane Richie.

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

The judge, whose ruling will provide a framework for resolving similar civil actions in the pipeline, said the awards – which all exceeded the previous highest sum given by a UK court in a privacy case – resulted from the invasions of privacy being "so serious and so prolonged".

Owner Trinity Mirror has said that MGN accepted it should pay appropriate compensation but believed that the basis used for calculating the damages was incorrect and the awards were excessive and disproportionate.

Chief executive Simon Fox said at the time the damages were awarded: “I deeply regret the activity which has gone on in the past and the distress we have caused the claimants…However the award of damages made today appears out of all proportion to personal injury claims or to any previous privacy case and that is why we are considering whether to seek permission to appeal.”

Explaining why the awards were so big – the highest court awards for damages against a UK newspaper ever – Mr Justice Mann said in his judgment: "The length, degree and frequency of all this conduct explains why the sums I have awarded are so much greater than historical awards. People whose private voicemail messages were hacked so often and for so long, and had very significant parts of their private lives exposed, and then reported on, are entitled to significant compensation."



Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.