The High Court in London has been told today that hacking took place at the Daily Mirror on “an industrial scale”.
The court heard that Dan Evans, one of the newspaper’s journalists, hacked into private messages on phones around 100 times every day from 2003 to 2004. Evans has already pleaded guilty to phone hacking but the newspaper denies the impact of the illegal operation on the claimants.
There are eight claimants in the case who claimed that their phones were hacked. The claimants are Lauren Alcorn, Robert Ashworth, Sadie Frost, Paul Gascoigne, Shobna Gulati, Shane Richie, Lucy Taggart and Alan Yentob.
The court was told that some of the messages were “deeply private” and that the phone hacking could have been going on for ten years. Many of the claimants have said that they felt that their privacy has been violated so that the newspaper could source information for stories.
The Daily Mirror’s defence team said that claimants did not suffer from long-term and life changing suffering. The paper added that it had already started a compensation fund and apologised for its actions. The below apology was also printed in the Daily Mirror a fortnight ago:
“Trinity Mirror, owner of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, today apologises publicly to all its victims of phone hacking. Some years ago voice-mails left on certain people’s phones were unlawfully accessed. And in many cases the information obtained was used in stories in our national newspapers.
Such behaviour represented an unwarranted and unacceptable intrusion into people’s private lives. It was unlawful and should never have happened, and fell far below the standards our readers expect and deserve.
We are taking this opportunity to give every victim a sincere and unreserved apology for what happened. We recognise that our actions will have caused them distress for which we are truly sorry.
Our newspapers have a long and proud history of holding those in power to account. As such, it is only right we are held to account ourselves. Such behaviour has long since been banished from Trinity Mirror’s business and we are committed to ensuring it will not happen again.”