Prince Harry won his phone hacking lawsuit Friday against the publisher of the Daily Mirror and was awarded over 140,000 pounds ($180,000) in the first of his several lawsuits against the tabloids to go to trial.
Justice Timothy Fancourt in the High Court found that phone hacking was “widespread and habitual” at Mirror Group Newspapers over many years and private investigators “were an integral part of the system” to gather information unlawfully. He said executives at the papers were aware of the practice and covered it up.
Fancourt found that 15 of the 33 newspaper articles in question at trial had been compiled with the help of unlawful means.
The Duke of Sussex had sought 440,000 pounds ($560,000) as part of his crusade against the British media as he bucked his family's longstanding aversion to litigation by becoming the first senior member of the royal family to testify in court in over a century.
The appearance of Harry, the estranged younger son of King Charles III, in the witness box over two days in June created a spectacle as he lobbed allegations that Mirror Group Newspapers had employed journalists who eavesdropped on voicemails and hired private investigators to use deception and unlawful means to learn about him and other family members.
“I believe that phone hacking was at an industrial scale across at least three of the papers at the time,” he asserted in the High Court. “That is beyond any doubt.”
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