News Group compensates 37 of its phone hacking victims

NEWS GROUP NEWSPAPERS, a subsidiary of News International, will dole out hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation to targets of the phone hacking spree that led to the closure of the News of the World.

The Murdoch-owned company settled with 37 claimants yesterday, and a total payout of £645,000 was disclosed from the 15 defendants who were happy to reveal their compensation sum.

When the other settlements are added, plus legal costs for each victim, this figure soars into the millions.

Jude Law pocketed the most with £130,000, while his ex-wife Sadie Frost was awarded £50,000 and Lord John Prescott settled for £40,000 – all with legal costs on top.

There are ten cases outstanding in this round of legal proceedings – including those of Charlotte Church, Steve Coogan and Pete Doherty – which will go to trial on 13 February if they have not been settled.