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Belsize Park actress Sadie Frost wins £260,000 phone-hacking damages

PUBLISHED: 12:25 21 May 2015 | UPDATED: 12:25 21 May 2015

Sadie Frost arrives at the hearing in the  Rolls Building. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Sadie Frost arrives at the hearing in the Rolls Building. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Belsize Park actress Sadie Frost is £260,250 richer after being awarded phone-hacking damages from Mirror Group Newspapers.

Sadie Frost makes a statement to journalists after receiving  phone-hacking damages. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA WireSadie Frost makes a statement to journalists after receiving phone-hacking damages. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The pay-out to the former wife of actor Jude Law was the highest of eight pay-outs totalling £1.2 million awarded to celebrities at London’s High Court today after a three-week hearing in March.

Lawyers for the phone-hacking victims said the payouts, totalling around £1.2 million were “unparalleled”

The judge said the victims had all suffered a “serious infringement of privacy” and the scale of hacking was “very substantial indeed”.

Mother-of-four Frost said outside court: “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.”

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne outside the High Court in London  Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireFormer England footballer Paul Gascoigne outside the High Court in London Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Her solicitor, Mark Thomson of Atkins Thomson, said: “I have been asked by my client, Sadie Frost, to say that she is thrilled with the outcome of today.

“Whilst Sadie would have preferred not to have come to court to relive painful experiences, having been left with no option by MGN, she is relieved that the judge has recognised, in his lengthy and detailed judgment, the sustained and intrusive impact that MGN’s repeated publication of her private information had on her life and her family.

“It was important for Sadie to bring an action against MGN in order to find out as much as possible about what had gone on. She accepts, reluctantly, that she will never know the full extent of the unlawful activities by MGN but is relieved to have finally found out that her private information was hacked rather than having been leaked by someone close to her.”

Mr Justice Mann also awarded £188,250 to Paul Gascoigne, £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.

James Heath, of Frost’s solicitors Atkins Thomson, said: “The judge found that phone hacking by Mirror Group’s newspapers was widespread, institutionalised and long standing. He found there to be intrusion into the private lives of the claimants, which ranged from ‘serious’ to ‘enormous’.

“The very substantial awards of damages reflect this gross intrusion. They are greater than any other publicly available award of damages in a privacy case and more substantial than in many libel cases.”

Trinity Mirror plc said: “We note the judgment released today by Mr Justice Mann following the conclusion of the civil trial for the assessment of damages for eight representative claimants arising from phone hacking.

“Our subsidiary MGN Limited has already accepted that it should pay appropriate compensation to individuals who were the target of phone hacking. However, 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.”

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