Prince Harry wins £140k from the Mirror's publisher for phone hacking

Prince Harry wins £140,000 from the Mirror’s publisher after High Court rules he was the victim of phone hacking between 2003 and 2009

Prince Harry has won £140,000 from the Mirror’s publisher after the High Court ruled he was the victim of phone hacking.

The Duke of Sussex’s case was ‘proved in part’, said Mr Justice Fancourt. Journalists at the Sunday Mirror, the People and the Daily Mirror had unlawfully obtained Harry’s private information for news stories, he found.

He ruled the duke’s phone was probably hacked ‘to a modest extent’ on occasions between 2003 and 2009.

The landmark case concluded at the High Court after a seven-week trial over the summer at which Harry became the first senior royal in over 100 years to testify.

In a statement from the duke read outside court by his lawyer David Sherborne today, Harry said it was ‘a great day for truth, as well as accountability’.

He said: ‘This case is not just about hacking – it is about a systemic practice of unlawful and appalling behaviour, followed by cover-ups and destruction of evidence, the shocking scale of which can only be revealed through these proceedings.’

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, departs the Rolls Building of the High Court in London in June. Today he won £140,000 from the Mirror’s publisher after the High Court ruled he was the victim of phone hacking

Mr Justice Fancourt found that 15 out of 33 articles about Harry had come from hacking.

The judge said: ‘I consider that his phone was only hacked to a modest extent, and that this was probably carefully controlled by certain people at each newspaper. However, it did happen on occasions from about the end of 2003 to April 2009.’

But he said there had been ‘a tendency’ for Harry to assume that everything published had been the product of voicemail hacking. Of the remaining 18 articles, he said Harry’s claims ‘did not stand up to careful analysis’.

The duke had been seeking at least £440,000 in damages. Mr Justice Fancourt awarded him £140,600 and said Harry had suffered

distress ‘a result of the unlawful activity directed at him and those close to him’. Part of the compensation was ‘aggravated’ damages because the judge ruled two directors on the Mirror’s board had known about the hacking but ‘turned a blind eye’ rather than stop it.

David Sherborne reads a written statement on behalf of his client Prince Harry following the ruling in his favour in a lawsuit against the Mirror Group. He said: ‘A great day for truth, as well as accountability’

Harry, 39, sued Mirror Group Newspapers for damages, claiming journalists at its titles were linked to methods including phone hacking, so-called ‘blagging’ or gaining information by deception, and use of private investigators for unlawful activities.

The newspaper argued stories had not come from hacking but from fellow members of the Royal Family and even his own interviews.

Harry flew in from America to give evidence in court to become the first senior British royal to do so since 1890.

In his ruling, the judge said that, in general, there had been ‘extensive’ use of phone hacking at the three Mirror newspapers from 2006 to 2011, ‘even during some extent during the Leveson Inquiry’.

Following the ruling, Mirror Group Newspapers said: ‘We welcome today’s judgment that gives the business the necessary clarity to move forward from events that took place many years ago. Where historical wrongdoing took place, we apologise unreservedly, have taken full responsibility and paid appropriate compensation.’

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