Jude Law assistant, Emma Noble and stuntman win 'substantial' privacy damages from Mirror

Jude Law's personal assistant Ben Jackson, actress Emma Noble and Hollywood stuntman Bobby Holland Hanton have all accepted substantial undisclosed damages in settlement of phone-hacking claims against Mirror Group Newspapers.

None of the three were at London's High Court today to hear the group's counsel, Matthew Nicklin QC, offer apologies for the damage and distress caused. MGN will also pay their costs.

He told Mr Justice Mann it was accepted that the methods used to obtain private information through the unlawful accessing of voicemails should never have been employed and there was no legitimate justification for this or the publication of the resulting articles.

Counsel David Sherborne said that, between 2003 and 2004, Jackson was suspicious about unusual calls to his phone and articles appearing in the media about Law and their mutual circle of friends.

He and Law were concerned that someone close to them was leaking information to the press.

As a consequence, he changed his and the actor's phone numbers on multiple occasions as a security measure.

He said MGN had admitted the unlawful activities were likely to have resulted in the publication of two articles in the Sunday Mirror at the time.

Sherborne said Noble, the ex-daughter-in-law of former prime minister John Major, was targeted from the start of her relationship with James Major in 1998.

In October last year, MGN admitted she had been the subject of its unlawful activity for certain periods during the ten years until 2008 and, as a result, two articles about her were published.

Bobby Holland Hanton, who was Christian Bale's stunt double as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises, and Daniel Craig's in Quantum Of Solace, was targeted because of his relationship with actress Lucy Taggart, who played Lisa Fowler in EastEnders.

Documents showed his phone was hacked between January 2004 and May 2006 and he was the subject of numerous private investigator inquiries between 2003 and 2005.

Hanton and Taggart suspected each other of selling stories, which caused a breakdown of trust and many heated arguments that, Hanton believed, were ultimately partly responsible for the end of their relationship.

Referring to Noble and Hanton, he said: "These two individuals brought claims that between them covered unlawful activity by the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and the People.

"Both the claimants have expressed their feelings of anger and violation in relation to what happened to them and their private information being so grossly misused for profit."

MGN, which is part of Trinity Mirror, was ordered to pay £1.2m in privacy damages to eight phone-hacking victims in May after a test case to assess the level of payouts. It has set aside some £28m to compensate the victims of phone-hacking.

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