UK & World News
Hacking: Mirror Papers Face Legal Claims
Newspapers belonging to Trinity Mirror are to face legal claims over phone hacking allegations for the first time, Sky News has learned.
Until now the only company to be sued for illegally snooping on voicemail messages was News Group Newspapers, publishers of the now-defunct News Of The World.
The latest claims allege that the mobile phone messages of the former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, Abbie Gibson, former nanny to the Beckham children, ex-Manchester City star Garry Flitcroft and actress Shobna Gulati were all listened to by Mirror group journalists.
There have been allegations that hacking was going on at the Mirror titles before, but the publisher of papers including the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People has always strenuously denied any wrongdoing.
But now solicitor Mark Lewis has lodged claims on behalf of his clients.
He said that unlike the News Of The World hacking cases, where police found a list of alleged victims in a notebook belonging to private investigator Glen Mulcaire, there is no paper trail this time round.
"There might not be a documentary smoking gun, but we will show there is a smoking bullet, the consequence of the actions," said Mr Lewis.
The former editor of the Daily Mirror, Piers Morgan, wrote a number of articles alleging phone hacking was prevalent in Fleet Street, but told the Leveson Inquiry he had never sanctioned it when he was an editor.
"My own evidence is I had no reason or knowledge to believe it was going on," he told the inquiry earlier this year.
In the summer, Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, in charge of investigating any criminal aspects of the cases, told MPs she believed there were more than 1,000 victims of phone hacking.
Scores of claims have been made against the News Of The World and many of the cases have been settled already with payouts totalling millions of pounds.
The most high-profile case involved the hacking of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone and cost the paper £3m.
Actress Sienna Miller reportedly received £100,000 and her former boyfriend Jude Law is also among the many celebrities to have won a substantial payout from News Group.
Politicians including former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott and Respect MP George Galloway have also been paid compensation.
This latest revelation that hacking was allegedly going on at a rival newspaper group will, temporarily at least, take the spotlight off the wrongdoing at the News Of The World.