The police detective behind the Nightjack blog has launched a legal action against the publishers of the Times citing breach of confidence, misuse of private information and deceit.
Richard Horton, 48, a detective with the Lancashire force, was revealed as the writer of the anonymous police blog by The Times three years ago. He is also seeking aggravated and exemplary damages.
Horton was unmasked after a reporter at The Times initially identified him by hacking into his emails.
Times editor James Harding told the Leveson inquiry that evidence of the paper’s involvement in email hacking had previously been withheld from the High Court, and that he had written to the judge involved, Mr Justice Eady, to apologise.
Three years ago, Horton had sought an injunction to prevent his anonymity, but this was turned down by Mr Justice Eady in a landmark decision.
He ruled that any right of privacy for Horton would be likely to be outweighed by public interest in revealing that a particular police officer had been making the contributions.
It has since emerged that former Times reporter Patrick Foster had hacked into an email account to expose the blogger – and that this information was witheld from Horton’s lawyers.
The Leveson inquiry heard he claimed to have obtained the information from ‘purely publicly accessible information.’
After being exposed Horton faced disciplinary procedures and was forced to delete his award-winning blog.
Mark Lewis, the lawyer acting for a number of high profile clients in the phone hacking saga, is acting for Horton.