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Gazza: "I would like to trade my mobile in for a coffin"

Paul Gascoigne Credit: PA Wire

Paul Gascoigne has won £188,250 in phone hacking damages from Mirror Group Newspapers at the High Court.

The payout to the former England footballer was one of eight announced at London's High Court after a three-week hearing in March to determine the extent of the wrongdoing at the group and what level of compensation was appropriate.

The level of compensation depended on the extent of the hacking and the effect on their lives.

Gascoigne told the High Court that phone-hacking was linked to his alcoholism.

He said: "I couldn't speak to anybody, I was scared to speak to anybody ... my parents, my family and kids, it was just horrendous.

"And people can't understand why I became an alcoholic."

The former Newcastle and England player added: "I would like to trade my mobile phone in for a coffin because these guys have ruined my life. I have no life."

He said that the period between 2000 and 2006 was very difficult, mentally and physically, and he wrongly accused people close to him, such as his step daughter Bianca, of going to the newspapers.

He believed that information about his relationship with his ex-wife Sheryl, in particular his calls to her, including his threats of suicide, came about through voicemail interception.

He became paranoid and obsessed and purchased £80,000 counter surveillance equipment.

Gascoigne's award included £78,250 for published articles, £30,000 global figure for articles not awarded separately, £10,000 private investigator activity, £20,000 for distress and £50,000 for general hacking.

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