Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 April 2015

Iris Robinson wins damages from paper

Former MP Iris Robinson is to receive damages for the publication of photographs taken while she was receiving mental health treatment in London.

She has accepted an undisclosed sum and legal costs to settle her breach of privacy case against the Sunday World newspaper.

Mrs Robinson, the wife of Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, quit politics in December 2009 after admitting she was battling depression.

It was then disclosed that the former Strangford MP had been having an extramarital affair and attempted to kill herself.

She issued a writ for breach of confidence/misuse of private information, harassment and breach of her rights after the Sunday World published articles and photos of her in London during her treatment.

The case, which had also involved a bid to secure a ban on surveillance, was due to be heard over three days at the High Court in Belfast later this month.

Earlier this year Northern Ireland's most senior judge, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, ruled that it was to be held in private because the threat of self-harm or suicide could increase if any information leaked out on social networking sites.

But the need for a behind-closed-doors hearing has now ended.

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