The News of the World illegally intercepted the emails of the son of serial killer Harold Shipman, the High Court heard today.
In a statement read out in open court, it was claimed that Christopher Shipman was the subject of intense media scrutiny following his father’s arrest in 1998 through to the inquiry into his suicide in 2005.
Shipman never spoke to the media or allowed any news outlets access to information ‘because he wished to maintain his privacy in the face of extremely difficult and distressing circumstances… which were no fault of his own,’the court heard.
ln 2004 he made ‘extensive use’of his personal email account for private purposes, ‘using it to send and receive messages containing a range of confidential financial, medical and legal information relating to his personal and professional life and to the lives of his family, friends and associates”.
The emails included confidential exchanges with his legal advisors containing information of the ‘utmost sensitivity including in connection with his father’s death and his mother’s medical conditions”.
On 15 August 2011 he was contacted by officers form the Met’s phone-hacking investigation Operation Weeting, when he was told police had evidence his emails had been unlawfully intercepted in August 2004 by private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.
‘The claimant [Shipman] was so horrified to that his privacy had been invaded in this manner that he has told me he finds it hard to put it into words,’his lawyer said.
The barrister for NoW publisher News Group Newspapers, Michael Silverleaf QC, said NGN offered its ‘sincere apologies’to Shipman for the ‘damage, as well as the distress, caused to by the unlawful Interception of his emails and obtaining his private and confidential information”.