Harry claims vindication after court rules Mirror did hack his phone - but Piers Morgan hits back

The Duke of Sussex had claimed journalists at titles such as the Mirror were linked to methods including phone hacking. ITV News Correspondent Rebecca Barry reports on a landmark case.

Prince Harry says it's a "great day for truth" after winning a landmark phone-hacking case against the publisher of the Daily Mirror.

The High Court ruled to award £140,600 in damages to the Duke of Sussex after a trial found his mobile was hacked by Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) journalists between 2006-2011.

Mr Justice Fancourt stated that the media group - which includes The Daily and Sunday Mirror and Sunday People - had been involved in "extensive" phone hacking techniques on a "widespread and habitual basis".

The judge ruled Prince Harry’s phone was hacked “only to a modest extent” by the publisher and that "this was probably carefully controlled by certain people at each newspaper."

He added there "can be no doubt" that editors knew about the hacking and other illegal information gathering.

Royal Editor Chris Ship on why this is not the end of Prince Harry's fight with the British press

Former editor Piers Morgan denied knowing about the practice in a statement hitting back at the decision and said: “I had then and still have zero knowledge of how that particular story was gathered.

“I also want to reiterate, as I’ve consistently said for many years now, I’ve never hacked a phone or told anyone else to and nobody has provided any actual evidence to prove that I did."

Mr Morgan also accused the prince of exploiting his own family.

“This is a guy who has repeatedly trashed his family in public for hundreds of millions of dollars even as two of its most senior and respected members were dying – his grandparents.

“It’s hard to imagine, frankly, more appalling behaviour than that.”

Piers Morgan alleged that Prince Harry 'wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped him around his California-tanned face,' while the duke called it a 'great day for truth' following the High Court decision

The Duke of Sussex's lawyer, David Sherborne, said the ruling makes it clear editors such as Piers Morgan, Mirror group directors and their legal team "clearly knew about phone hacking."

The judgement lists a number of times when Mr Morgan was said to be aware of phone hacking, and that evidence had not been contested.

The judge also said he found the evidence surrounding Mr Morgan's involvement to be credible and nothing produced by the Mirror Group "contradicted it."

In a statement read out on his behalf, Harry said: "Today is a great day for truth, as well as accountability".

“This case is not just about hacking – it is about a systemic practice of unlawful and appalling behaviour, followed by cover-ups and destruction of evidence, the shocking scale of which can only be revealed through these proceedings," the statement added.

'The court had found that the Mirror Group’s principle board directors, their legal department, senior executives, and editors such as Piers Morgan, clearly knew about or were involved in these illegal activities,' says David Sherborne outside the High Court

Outside court Prince Harry's lawyers called for authorities to launch a criminal investigation into the publisher and those who may have broken the law.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “We will carefully consider the civil judgment handed down today at the High Court. There is no ongoing investigation.”

Former Labour spokesman Alastair Campbell was also targeted in Mr Morgan's statement, and was described as "an old foe ... with an axe to grind” and a "proven liar".

Mr Campbell responded to the comments in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, by saying: "Piers Morgan seems to have forgotten about the several inquiries, including with evidence given on oath, which cleared me of lying or any other wrongdoing in relation to Iraq ."

Mr Justice Fancourt said illegal activity should have been investigated properly by MGN editors "but it never was" and was instead "concealed" from the board, Parliament, the public and the Leveson Inquiry.

Following the ruling, an MGN spokesperson said: “We welcome today’s judgment that gives the business the necessary clarity to move forward from events that took place many years ago.

“Where historical wrongdoing took place, we apologise unreservedly, have taken full responsibility and paid appropriate compensation.”

The judge also ruled MGN had even been involved in phone hacking "to some extent” during the Leveson Inquiry into media standards.

Actor Michael Turner, known professionally as Michael Le Vell, was awarded a total of £31,650 in damages after also bringing a phone hacking claim against MGN.

However, actress Nikki Sanderson and comedian Paul Whitehouse’s ex-wife, Fiona Wightman, had their similar cases dismissed on the basis that they were made too late.

Prince Harry's claim was that MGN journalists were linked to methods including phone hacking, so-called “blagging”, or gaining information by deception, and use of private investigators for unlawful activities.

Harry, 39, became the first senior British royal to give evidence in 130 years, when he became involved in five cases at the High Court, including similar claims brought against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) and News Group Newspapers (NGN).

After Friday's win at the High Court, the Duke has four remaining cases against the publishers of the Daily Mail, The Mail On Sunday, The Sun and News of The World, as well as the Home Office.

The cases cover alleged “secret agreements” between the Royals and the press, cars being bugged with listening devices, and even the Duke of Sussex and his family's personal security in the Home Office case.

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