Phone-tap victim wins £60,000 damages

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Interior designer Kelly Hoppen yesterday accepted £60,000 in settlement of her High Court action over the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

The announcement was made at a hearing in London.

Her lawyer Mark Thomson told Mr Justice Vos that her action was for “misuse of private information and breach of confidence”.

He said two defendants – News International Supply Company Ltd and News Group Newspapers – “have agreed to pay £60,000 to the claimant as damages as well as her costs, to be assessed if not agreed”.

Mr Thomson said that in 2004 and 2006 Ms Hoppen “was the subject of numerous articles published in the News of the World, which contained intrusive and private information”.

He added: “The claimant did not know the source of this information at the time of publication and often could not understand how it was possible for the News of the World to obtain such private information.

“In 2009, as a result of the claimant’s long held concerns, her solicitors, Atkins Thomson, wrote to the Metropolitan Police Service asking whether they had any evidence that the claimant had been targeted by News Group Newspapers Ltd in 2004-2006.

“The claimant was initially informed that the police had no evidence to suggest that she had been a target in 2004 and 2006.

“However, in February 2011, they contacted the claimant to inform her that they had since discovered evidence that she had in fact been a target over this period.”

Mr Thomson told the judge that on April 5 this year Ms Hoppen served her particulars of claim against defendants including private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and News Group Newspapers for misuse of private information and breach of confidence.

The particulars also made claims in respect of “alleged interceptions in 2009 and 2010”, he said.

On April 8, News Group Newspapers “admitted liability for misuse of private information and breach of confidence in respect of the 2004-2006 part of her claim”.