MIRROR Group Newspapers was ordered to fork out £1.2 million in damages yesterday over its phone-hacking activities.
Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne and actor Sadie Frost are among those to receive payments — £188,250 and £260,250 respectively.
The damages were announced in London’s High Court after a three-week hearing in March to determine the extent of wrongdoing at the group and what level of compensation was appropriate.
Mr Justice Mann also awarded £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 actor Tracy Shaw, receives £201,250, and flight attendant Lauren Alcorn, who had a relationship with soccer star Rio Ferdinand, was awarded £72,500.
The judge said the victims had all suffered a “serious infringement of privacy” and that the scale of ‘phone hacking was “very substantial indeed.”
Daniel Taylor, of Taylor Hampton solicitors who represented three of the eight victims, said: “Today’s judgment represents a milestone in the development of privacy law in the UK and the awarding of six-figure damages is truly historic and unparalleled, on a scale much greater than has ever been awarded previously.”
Representing Mirror Group Newspapers, counsel Matthew Nicklin QC said no-one had suffered personal harm.
He suggested that the hurt caused to a phone-hacking victim was not quantitatively different in terms of assessment from that suffered in other kinds of cases, such as harassment, intimidation, victimisation, bullying or discrimination.