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Hacking victims to receive damages

Seven public figures will receive compensation after their phone hacking claims against the publisher of the News of the World were settled, News International has said.

Former Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten, TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson, former Army officer James Hewitt, 7/7 hero Paul Dadge, celebrities Abi Titmuss and Calum Best, and Michelle Milburn, who is reportedly a theatrical agent, will all receive settlements from News Group Newspapers (NGN), the News International subsidiary which published the News of the World until the tabloid's demise in July.

In a statement, the media group said: "News International can confirm that seven claims against News Group Newspapers and Glenn Mulcaire have been settled following discussions with News Corporation's Management and Standards Committee, acting on behalf of NGN.

"The claims are Mark Oaten, Ulrika Jonsson, Abi Titmuss, Michelle Milburn, Paul Dadge, James Hewitt and Calum Best. NGN has agreed to pay appropriate sums by way of compensation and costs and have expressed regret for the distress caused."

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne's case that he was a victim of phone hacking also looked close to being resolved.

A lawyer said that Gascoigne's case "is settling" during a brief hearing at the High Court.

The announcement was made by counsel Jeremy Reed, who represents various claimants in the News of the World phone hacking claims.

Outside court, lawyers declined to give further details on Gascoigne's action, which was one of the "lead" cases for a trial which is being held early next year.

Mr Oaten said in a statement: "I am pleased that News International have expressed their regret for the distress caused to me over phone hacking and have agreed substantial compensation.

"I'm glad, after a long period, this issue is finally resolved and I'm able to understand better the actions taken against me by the media."


From Belfast Telegraph