In a stunning turn of events, a royal judge has ruled that Harry should be compensated with just £500 for his phone hacking allegations against the Mirror newspaper. Oh, how strong the karma is coming back!
The Mirror Group newspapers vehemently claim that Prince Harry is not a victim of phone hacking. They claim his legal request serves no other purpose than to further his campaign to reform the British press.
Reluctantly, the editor admits to illegally obtaining Harry’s private information on one occasion at a nightclub and has apologized for it. However, they strongly believe that this isolated incident warrants no more than £500 in damages.
They argue that the rest of Harry’s case should be dismissed altogether, placing the burden of proof on the Duke himself.
This trial has been going on for seven long weeks, with both sides racking up millions of pounds in legal costs. The news group vehemently denies ever hacking 38-year-old Prince Harry. As the case draws to a close, Mirror lawyer Casey Andrew Green expresses sympathy for Harry due to the extraordinary media intrusion he has suffered throughout his life. However, he claims that being the victim of media intrusion does not prove that the Mirror headlines hacked him.
Mr Green boldly asserts that the real purpose of this litigation is not to seek compensation for illegal activity, but to fuel Prince Harry’s campaign to reform Britain’s press. He points out that some of the articles in question were published 30 years ago, calling Harry’s case highly exaggerated and substantially baseless. He argues that much of the allegedly private information that Harry complains of has already been widely published elsewhere or shared by Palace spokespersons.
The Mirror’s lawyer further points out the complete lack of evidence to indicate that their titles ever engaged in a phone hack against Prince Harry. He dismisses Harry’s complaint as a broader frustration with the media intrusion as a whole.
Even with testimonies from other reporters-turned-whistleblowers who have themselves been convicted hackers, there is no suggestion that Harry was specifically targeted for the voicemail interception.
On the other side, David Sherborne, representing Prince Harry and the other claimants, presents what he believes to be hard evidence of widespread illegal activity such as hacking, blagging and deception in the Mirror Group logs between 1991 and 2011.
He claims that these illicit methods were the norm throughout the period, involving MGN’s board of directors and legal department, which would have been aware of the illegal information gathering on a large scale.
Mr Sherborne draws attention to the absence of key witnesses in the Mirror’s defence, including former editor Piers Morgan, seeing it as a significant hole in their case. He urges the judge to draw adverse conclusions from this extraordinary decision.