Mirror Damages Trial: Paul Gascoigne “I was scared to speak to anybody”, Lucy Taggart “I felt like I was being punched and battered”

12 03 2015

Paul GascoigneOn Wednesday 11 March 2015, Day 8, the Judge in the Mirror Damages Trial heard half a day of evidence, from claimants Paul Gascoigne and Lucy Taggart.

Mr Gascoigne told the Court that he changed his phone four to five times a month during the relevant period.  MGN admitted that 14 articles about him were the product of hacking.

He said

“I couldn’t speak to anybody, I was scared to speak to anybody, and my conversations were just, okay, I’m getting hacked. That’s all I have to say.  To whoever I spoke to, whether it be my parents, my family, my kids.  It was just horrendous.  And people want to understand why I become an alcoholic”.

Counsel for MGN did not ask Mr Gascoigne any questions in cross-examination.  When the Judge explained that his evidence was accepted and not challenged by the defendant Mr Gascoigne said

“I would like to trade my mobile in for a coffin, because these guys have ruined my life.  I have no life”.

The next witness was former East Enders actress Lucy Taggart (previously known as Lucy Benjamin).  There were 17 articles admitted to be the product of hacking. Ms Taggart said

“With each one, I always felt like I could pick myself up and dust myself off, and I could carry on.  But the following day, or the following week, there would be another article about something else, and I felt like I was being punched and battered and bruised, and I felt like I was in a boxing ring without any gloves”.

She told the Judge that

“the Mirror Group were the ones that slaughtered me personally, and Steve, and our relationship”. 

Ms Taggart was asked about the reporting of the case in the press. She said that she had not seen much coverage in the Mirror

I have seen the Guardian pick up stuff, yes, as they would.  But the Mirror is the one who I wanted to see with maybe their tail between their legs, but just more sorry and reporting it fairly and honestly, as they should be doing, about what they have done wrong. 

Mr Justice Mann asked  Counsel for  MGN whether the proceedings had been reported by the Mirror Group and he agreed that he would find out and tell the court.

There are six other claimants, Alan Yentob, Shane Roche, Sadie Frost, Lauren Alcorn, Shobna Gulati and Robert Ashworth.

The Court will hear further evidence on Thursday and Friday of this week and closing submissions next week.

 


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