Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Charlotte Church settles phone-hacking claims for £600,000

Charlotte Church and her legal team outside the High Court in London (AP)

Charlotte Church and her parents have settled their phone-hacking claims for £600,000 with up to 200 fresh claims on the horizon.

As the singer yesterday told reporters of her disgust at the behaviour of News of the World publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN), Mr Justice Vos was setting a timetable for the High Court to deal with the next wave of the litigation by this time next year.

Miss Church, (26), sat in the packed London courtroom as her lawyer told the judge that the now-defunct newspaper targeted her and her voicemail messages repeatedly, and unlawfully obtained her private medical information and details of her personal relationships with her family and friends”.

Solicitor Mike Brookes said it began in 2002 when Charlotte was just 16 and continued for many years.

“Charlotte was also regularly harassed and even placed under surveillance by the News of the World and those paid by them.

“They followed the every move of a teenage girl.”

He said that James and Maria Church were not in the public eye, but that their own privacy had been violated.

“The motivation for this intrusion into the lives of two essentially private and ordinary individuals was to make money.”

He said that Mrs Church was a vulnerable person, with a complex medical history which the newspaper found out about, publishing private details of her hospital treatment.

Outside court, Charlotte Church said: “What I have discovered as the litigation has gone on has disgusted me. Nothing was deemed off-limits by those who pursued me.”

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